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HP wants to build a printer you'll actually get excited about


Article by Stephen Shankland, CNET

When was the last time you were excited by a printer? Quite possibly it was in 1999 when three disgruntled employees destroyed one with a baseball bat in the movie Office Space.

Enrique Lores, head of HP's printer business, wants to give you a better attitude. He's happy for you to swipe through the photos you like on your phone. But for the photos you love, he wants you to make something you can feel with your hands and stick on your fridge so you can relive the good times.

To get us there, he's trying to make printers that are easier to use -- especially from your phone -- and that aren't plagued by ink cartridges that you discover dried out when you dust off your printer for your kid's school project.

Lores has grander ideas in the pipeline, too: social printing at parties with HP's tiny Sprocket printer, individually customized magazines, augmented reality coding that'll reveal whether that Louis Vuitton purse is or isn't a counterfeit, and printers that emblazon doors, shirts and curtains with new designs. HP's even part of a Japanese hotel project that will customize your hotel room's floor, walls and furniture if you visit during the 2020 Olympics.

"What consumers want is to print a photo of the person they love."

And perhaps most radically, he wants to build a printer that you'll actually be happy to see.

"To our disgrace, we have seen that consumers spend more money in furniture to hide the printers than in buying the printer," Lores said. If HP's investments in design succeed, you'll be proud to show off your next printer. 

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