Mobile

Point & print: Cortado’s smartphone app talks to 2D & 3D printers

Image Credit: Printer image via Cortado, cloud background via Wikimedia

As various technologies have grown simpler and more platform agnostic, printers have lagged behind, with their seemingly infinite drivers and error messages. Cortado aims to bring printing up to speed with its “Cloud Printer” app, which the company will announce at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2014 conference today.

The mobile app, due out “soon” for iOS and Android, will enable people to point their device’s camera at a printer, scan a QR code, and print any document stored on their device, email service, or any popular cloud storage locker (Dropbox, Google Cloud, etc.). It works by tapping into a remote database, which contains all the drivers necessary to print documents correctly.

“We know that even with a desktop computer, it is so frustrating to just print a document,” Cortado product manager Thién Nguyen told VentureBeat.

“Now with the shift to mobile devices, it’s getting even more complicated. There is literally no great solution for printing from mobile devices.”

Cortado is planning to support 3D printers, too, though that’s a bit further off than 2D printing, which is already up and running internally, said Nguyen. But conceptually, it works the same way: find a file, point, and print.

Cloud Printer enables vendors to accept payment for printing services through the app. That could be hugely useful for 3D printing, given the high cost and limited availability of 3D printing hardware.

Cortado will also release a desktop Cloud Printer app, but it’s focused on the mobile app, said Nguyen. The company’s apps work with Amazon WorkSpaces, enabling people to print anything on their cloud-based desktops.

This afternoon, Nyugen will demo an prototype of the mobile app at the MobileBeat Innovation Showdown, using an Android device to wirelessly print a document.

Cortado, formerly ThinPrint, is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. The company employs about 250 people, 25 of whom have been working on its cloud printer project for the last year and a half, according to Nguyen.


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