Putting More Computer Into Your Printer: How Printers Are Evolving (HP and Lexmark)

I’ve used, tested, yelled at and banged on dozens and dozens of printers over the years. But one thing is pretty much the same with all of them. They all eat paper and toner, they are all connect to a computer (or network) and they print what I have displayed on my computer screen. Some copy, scan and fax as well.
One other common frustration is that when one prints something from the web, what you see on the screen is often not what is printed.
Business Week reports that printer vendors continue to evolve the way printers work. The explosion of online communication has put a dent on the amount of documents people are printing, so vendors have an even bigger reason to evolve printing in new ways.
In September, Business Week writes, HP will launch a $399 Photosmart that will feature more than a dozen applications developed by Google , Fandango, Coupons.com, and others. With Fandango, for instance, users can view a movie trailer on a bright color screen, read reviews, then purchase and print out a ticket to a showing at the local theater—all without ever touching a PC.
Lexmark is doing something a bit different. Its SmartSolutions button lets small and midsize businesses customize the home screen. Each user sharing a printer in the office, for example, can store his or her own address book, news feeds, ID cards, stationery templates, and user preferences. The $399 Platinum Pro905 model also includes business card scanning that recognizes and uploads the card’s contact information into software on your PC.
Read the entire BW article here.
For most of us, a traditional printer is just fine. But some of you might want to consider the benefits of printer online content directly from your printer or embedding user information in a printer. Security should be at the top of your mind, if you do this, so ensure your networks, computers and printers are locked up tight.