A Cute Waste of Paper? Little Printer Is Like AOL's Editions without the Screen

Hello Little Printer, available 2012 from BERG on Vimeo.


Little Printer by BERG Cloud condenses and curates content from foursquare, Google, The Guardian, Nike and Arup to print content twice a day like headlines, weather reports, puzzles, to-do lists and more.

Editions by AOL is a personalized magazine, similar to Zite and Flipboard, that virtually delivers content to your iPad daily. Little Printer, on the other hand, delivers personalized content via good old-fashioned paper.

"The act of printing--committing to paper--makes a statement, so you want to be sure that what you print is important," BERG CEO Matt Webb told Fast Code Design. "What we concentrate on now is density of information or delight. Great publications are ones you would consult a lot over the day or want to carry with you, so it makes sense to print them. Or exceptional information that prints a large alert when something drastic happens, so you can see it from across the room. Or beautiful images: We've been working will old woodcuts and pen and inks, which look tremendous on the thermal printer."
While some people might wonder how practical or necessary it is to print a hard copy of digital content, Matt says that people generally love physical things.

"Connecting products to the Web lets them become smarter and friendlier – they can sit on a shelf and do a job well, for the whole family or office – without all the attendant complexities of computers, like updates or having to tell them what to do," Matt says. "Little Printer is more like a family member or a colleague than a tool."

However, considering that the average person in North America at the lend of the last decade consumed as much paper as six people combined in Asia, according to a report by the Environmental Paper Network, we wonder what effect Little Printer will have. 
Additionally, there has been some concern regarding the chemicals, like BPA, involved with thermal printing in addition to the fact thermal paper is not recycleable. Considering that many businesses print receipts on thermal paper, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an action plan in 2010 to facilitate movement towards safer alternatives. 

The Little Printer works by connecting it to the BERG Cloud, which enables it to wirelessly connect to a box that plugs into a broadband router.

"We think of BERG Cloud as the nervous system for connected products. It’s built to run at scale, and could as easily operate the Web-enabled signage of a city block, as the playful home electronics of the future," Matt writes on the blog. "Not to mention the smart product prototypes that we work with our clients on, in the other side of our design studio."

In June, BERG started rethinking traditional receipts, noting how receipts could provide health information and other facts based on information in the register.
Little Printer will be available for pre-orders beginning in 2012.