May 30, 2007 – HP announced their new print strategy today, called Print 2.0, which is intended to extend the company’s reach to online markets in order to capture more of the revenue from printed web content. The company is working with established websites and blogs to integrate a printing function into their sites to enable users to easily print content. Another component of the strategy involves solutions to make business printing more efficient. One example is the sp400, a handheld all-in-one printer and scanner for use in shipping, manufacturing, and retail industries. According to HP’s press release, printing from web pages accounts for nearly half of all printing done from home. However, many current sites have no printing tools included. The company sees this as a major growth area and is developing technologies to makes this task easier and more common. HP has already been working with ViaMichelin, a European web provider of mapping services, to enable better printing of maps from their site. The company has also been working with SixApart, Ltd., the company that created Movable Type, a major blogging platform, to include a printing "widget" on their sites that will enable users to select and print only the posts they’re interested in and without ads. HP is also working to develop a tool for web developers called Tabblo Print Toolkit that they can include in website design that will enable users to print content. HP's Print 2.0 strategy also includes tools to increase business efficiency by making the printing process easier. One such innovation is a handheld all-in-one printer and scanner, the HP sp400, which prints information directly onto packages or other surfaces. Applications are for the shipping, retail, and manufacturing industries. The ruggedly constructed, twelve-ounce unit is capable of 1,250 prints and scans per hour, with a lithium ion battery that lasts for 5,000 prints.
The sp400’s wireless capabilities allow information like bar codes to be scanned and sent to a location for processing. The unit can also receive new information and apply it to packaging directly with smudge-free inks. The inks are contained in one-inch cube cartridges. The sp400 is expected to be available in the last quarter of 2007.
HP’s recent acquisitions of companies like Snapfish and Logoworks (see related story) figure prominently in this new strategy as well. The printing giant will expand these services to draw in more customers for online digital photo file sharing and production of marketing materials for small businesses.