In a move that seems misguided and likely to backfire, HP is testing out new methods of delivering spam to its upcoming printer line.
The ePrint printers -- the first of which is due next month -- are a new breed of cloud-based printers. They are connected to the web through a router, and have their own IP, in which it is easy for home and business users to send documents to from multiple computers using a web-based interface. The ePrint printers also benefit from not having much trouble finding drivers or anything like that, they update themselves.
The arguable benefits of the web-based interface ePrint line however may seem not worth it to some people, if HP decides to go ahead with a new advertisement program they are working on. HP, working with Yahoo's web advertisement business, is currently doing trial tests of a new system that sends targeted ads to its ePrint printers. This way, lucky ePrint owners will see there printers print up advertisements at somewhat random intervals. Similiar to fax spam, these printed advertisments will sell local products and services.
In a highly questionable statement on the matter, HP's Stephen Nigro, VP of the printer group, said that people are "used to seeing things with ads" so "were not bothered" by the printer spam.
The ePrint line is a big new step into new territory for printers. It will be interesting to see how the prospect of ad spam -- which would use up valuable ink -- will affect the sales of the new brand.