Internet-connected devices are taking over the household. Case in point: Berg’s Little Printer and new Internet connection box called BergCloud.
Berg believes that small household products that are connected to the Internet can become like a part of the family, with much more characterization and meaning with the power of the Web behind it. The first of these products is Little Printer. It prints out tiny pictures, but there’s a bigger picture in the thought that went into this product. While in and of itself this tiny printer is close to useless, it shows how connected devices are taking over the PC, which used to be the only way to enjoy what the Internet has to offer.
Little Printer is wirelessly hooked up to a box that plugs into your broadband router. This box connects Little Printer to a variety of web content chosen through a smartphone. For instance, if you want Foursquare updates, along with Google calendar reminders, Little Printer will pull those from the Internet, store them temporarily until you press the print button located at the top of the printer. Then you get a stream on Internet consciousness, which you can tape to refrigerators or use as bookmarks (just not in your ebooks).
“We love physical stuff. Connecting products to the Web lets them become smarter and friendlier,” said Berg in a blog post, “Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off.”
According to Berg, BergCloud can handle the web-enabled signage of a city block. Handy if you want to print Times Square from your Little Printer.
Honestly, Little Printer is a lilliputian gadget that, while cute, performs an unnecessary function: putting trivial Internet content such as games and photos of buildings onto paper. However, the little guy is giving connected devices, such as televisions with Internet capabilities, or smaller gadgets a firmer place in the home.
BergCloud itself is also giving mobile devices more responsibility in connecting the real-world-home with Web content. For instance, BergCloud could be an easy connection for those who want to print anything from the smartphone. According to Berg’s blog post, the smartphone acts as Little Printer’s remote control, which may be a path to other mobile-dependent devices.
Berg plans to release more products after Little Printer’s release in 2012.
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