Because of some recent client work, lately I’ve been thinking about printers. Aside from some pretty trivial advances in technology, I don’t think they’ve changed much in the last decade.
I’ve been musing on what the game-changer for printers could be. You know, the thing that makes the whole industry look up and go “WTF?” I’m talking iPod-type change.
Here are the best two ideas I could come up with, neither of which really qualifies as game-changing:
- Give the printer away, and just charge for printer cartridges and paper.
- Sell the customer the printer, but they never have to change the cartridge or the paper (presumably the printer has a big storage capacity). The printer automatically calls home when it’s low on either, and then somebody shows up at your door to replace the ink and paper.
I suppose the real game-changed will be the eventual arrival of electronic paper. E-paper now has a kind of flying car rep–always promised but never delivered.
How would you re-invent the printer?
Reading over this post, it feels a bit like I’m trying to do shady market research for my client. I’m not–printers have just been on my mind lately.