Despite what everyone is saying, print is not dead! It’s just evolving. Introducing the Israeli ZUtA Pocket Printer, a hand-sized printer that is compatible with any Wi-Fi-enabled device. For something that is so simple, it is amazing that it has taken this long to develop a truly portable printer. In a world where mobile is king, this pint-sized printer is going to fit right in.
The ZUtA Pocket Printer is stripped down to the bare necessities, yet is still able to do anything a traditional printer can. All you really need is a printhead and some wheels, and you are good to go.
Printing from any device is easy because the tiny printer does not require those pesky drivers you typically have to install on your computer to print. Through the use of the traditional print function built-in to your computer or an app, you can print from your computer, smart phone, or tablet. The printer can accommodate any paper size and the replaceable ink cartridge can print up to 1,000 pages of text. The printer can also live for up to an hour on a full battery charge through a USB cable.
The printer uses multi-directional wheels to scroll across the page. The user can ensure a straight print by lining the printer up with the corner of the paper. It takes approximately 40-45 seconds to print one page of text. Although the printer is designed to accommodate small print projects such as single page text or tickets, it can print multiple pages by waiting to be moved to the next page by the user.
The ZUtA Pocket Printer a brainchild of the Friedberg Entrepreneurship Program through the Jerusalem College of Technology. In March of 2013, the students in the program were instructed to design a sustainable business plan. Then, upon completing the rigorous acceptance program, the project was granted funding, access to the college’s facilities, and guidance from professors. The project blossomed from there, starting with a proof of concept in August, 2013, the first prototype in December, and the establishment of the company in January, 2014.
As of today, the device is still in the prototype phase, with black ink printing only. But the long-term goal of the printer is to accommodate color printing, and ideally will be able to print on more mediums than just paper.
Now on Kickstarter, the campaign has generated more than $450,000, surpassing the original goal of $400,000. With 10 days left in the Kickstarter campaign, there is still time to back this company if you want to get in on the action! Kickstarter backers that donate $180 can expect to receive their devices in January, 2015. Production is estimated to begin September, 2014, and the retail price for the device is estimated at $240.
So what do you think? Is a softball-sized printer that only prints black ink worth $240? If you are a busy lawyer or someone with enough cash and always on the go, I can see how this device would hold great value. And considering there is nothing else on the market like it, I can imagine the device seeing huge success in the future. Personally, I am intrigued by the idea of being able to print on other surfaces besides paper. And, it might be worth it to be able to remove my behemoth of a printer off of my tiny desk…