science | design | engineering | common sense

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I was recently coveting this Sparkfun Thermal Printer module (still want it 🙂 ) to use as an output device for digital content, turning out mini printed “newspaper” pages or pushing out a ticker-tape type feed, or just using it as a small-format printer. I even checked ebay for teletype and thermal printers, not to mention printing calculators, to see if there would be something I could modify to create a small, cheap printer which could print onto a small format but nothing looked very promising; the guts of a printing calculator would work but can only print a limited character set, so the best option is still the Sparkfun Thermal Printer.

Lo and behold, a few weeks later the “Little Printer” from BERG popped up in my RSS reader, and it’s almost exactly what I envisioned in one of my project ideas for what I would create in a DIY project, except their version looks better and will have cloud-based processing power behind it to be able to pull in a huge variety of feeds. Have a look:

Hello Little Printer, available 2012 from BERG on Vimeo.

I think this type of technology is great, it’s a combination of the best of old and new, paper technology and screen technology. Paper is durable, renewable, made in the USA and infinitely adaptable; it should stick around.

We love physical stuff. 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. Little Printer is more like a family member or a colleague than a tool.

Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.

Announcing Little Printer and Berg Cloud

I’ll keep a DIY version on my project list (mini printer project) as a possibility, I’d love to create this type of system using an Arduino or Server/Arduino hybrid, but if the price is reasonable this Little Printer project could be a great option as well.


Written by logand

November 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Note: Written in 2008 and revised slightly. The same observations apply now, so I have an active project to roll my own newspaper.  […]

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