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Connected printer technology explained

Discover how cloud computing can help you printing and sharing documents

Technology has advanced so much in recent years that it’s now possible to stay connected pretty much wherever you might be located. Now though, it’s also possible to take things a step further with the evolution of Cloud computing, which is going to make us even more connected than we’ve ever been before.

One of the biggest benefits of using the virtual world of the Cloud is that it has revolutionised the way you print and share digital documents.

That’s not just photo’s either; now it’s possible to stay productive and produce letters, spreadsheets, presentations, scanned documents and more, just as long as you’re able to access the Cloud and its associated services. 

An online revolution

The huge area of printing digital images is one area where Cloud computing is really capturing the imagination of us all. There is now a whole host of electronics manufacturers who are all unveiling their own Cloud-based devices, not least of which is the buzzing area of photo printers.

Many of the new all-in-one printers from the likes of Kodak, Canon, Epson and HP are brimming over with features that facilitate the printing of digital images, no matter where you happen to be. Added to this explosion in Cloud-based printing is the growing ownership of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.

Google is pioneering Cloud-based printing services, which will allow consumers to send documents and digital images to their printer while they’re on the move

A growing market

This means that we’re not only taking more digital photos, but we’re printing them on a regular basis too. Central to being able to do this quickly and conveniently is to get yourself an all-in-one photo printer that is wirelessly compatible with the other static and mobile devices in your household. 

Creating a wireless home network is now a very straightforward process that entails connecting your desktop computers, laptops and other mobile gadgets together. You’ll also want to connect them all to the internet, which is easily done with the help of a wireless router. With all of that in place you then need to pick a suitable wireless, or Wi-Fi, enabled printer that you can duly send all of your digital images and documents to. The new Kodak HERO all-in-one range offers this kind of connectivity in a few steps , as do printers from the likes of HP, Canon and Epson too. 

Send it remotely

Once you’ve got your home network set up, and a suitably enabled Wi-Fi all-in-one primed for use, then it’s easy to enjoy the flexibility and convenience of printing via the Cloud. Mobile and Cloud printing software and services are appearing all over the place, so no matter what device you use on a daily basis, there’ll be something out there for you.

Google has recently revealed a powerful new printing solution in the form of its Cloud Print service. All you need to do to use this is connect your printer to the Google Cloud and you’re able to output digital images and just about any other kind of document from both computers and smartphones, irrespective of where you’re located.

The new Kodak HERO range allows you to exploit the power of Wi-Fi connectivity and Cloud-based printing from anywhere

Apps and software

Key to all of this connectivity is the development of apps and other software-based solutions that are designed to work with ease on all manner of modern mobile gadgets and gizmos. Apple’s AirPrint wireless printing, which is available for the likes of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch delivers remote document and image printing within the space of a few screen taps.

Epson, meanwhile, has developed its Connect service, which also gives the option of printing from smartphones and tablet devices. HP and Kodak offer their printers with Cloud Ready functionality too, and that means you’ll be able to send a document from anywhere to print on your sophisticated little all-in-one back home. 

Using apps

There are so many different apps available that it’s likely you’ll be able to find one that’ll be suitable for the device that you use. Kodak, for example, has developed its PicFlick app, which is a piece of software that’s available for the iPhone and iPod plus BlackBerry and Android devices, including some tablet models as well as handsets.

Epson has its own iPrint service that is also designed for iOS devices, including the usual Apple gadgets, as well as for an array of Android mobile computing products too. These printing solutions can also be complemented with many of the new online services that have become available, such as the HP Creative Studio or the Kodak Tips and Projects Exchange, which is included in the Home Center Software.

These are one-stop-shop for fans of Facebook and other social networking sites who want to do that little bit more with their digital images than simply post them online or print them out. Here users find a variety of online goodies such as free printable scrapbooks, templates for cards and other creative projects that allow you to pick out your favourite pictures and print them out remotely with a touch more creative flair.

Ease of use from today’s all-in-one printers means that you can be set up on a home wireless network and printing in no time

Share it out

The ability of Cloud computing to offer quick and easy printing is one thing, but it’s also becoming increasingly easy to share our powerful all-in-one printing devices with others too. Kodak has developed a system called its Email Print Service that enables people to send their print outs via email to the printer from anywhere .

This also allows consumers who own one of the sophisticated new all-in-one devices to share the unique email address of their own printer with family and friends. The benefit of that is that it enables them to receive printed photos and other digital documentation from their loved ones, or work colleagues, no matter where they may happen to be.

Easier printing

So, with the benefit of the Cloud, powerful apps and intuitive software, printing digital photos and other documents is now easier than ever. Thanks to increasingly intuitive all-in-one devices, that incorporate simple Wi-Fi setup and smart trays that can recognise the type of paper you’ve loaded, staying connected and productive on the go is now easier than ever.

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