announced that they've licensed HP's CloudPrint technology for use with BlackBerry devices. If you're unfamiliar with CloudPrint, it's a web service that allows you to use your mobile device to print documents to any available printer, and all you need is an internet connection to do so. The service was developed by HP's IdeaLab, a part of the company's central R&D arm, which features emerging technology made available for public use.Today, Research in Motion (RIM)
CloudPrint works by allowing you to "virtually" print your documents to HP servers. Those documents can be saved on your PC or even your mobile device and can be in the form of emails, documents, photos, or web pages. After sending your file to the CloudPrint service, it will generate a code for that document which is then sent to your phone via text message (SMS). The final step is to log onto any computer that has access to the local printer and pull up the CloudPrint web site. There, you simply enter in the document code and your file, now converted to PDF format, is ready for printing.
Alternately, you can choose to download the CloudPrint driver to your PC and save the files to the CloudPrint server before you travel so you'll have them ready in advance.
With the new partnership between RIM and HP, the CloudPrint service will come to BlackBerry devices in the form of a software download which will be made available to BlackBerry Internet Service subscribers and BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers. Of course, CloudPrint includes support for the new BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0, also launched this week.
There's no word yet on how soon the technology will become available. However, at the time of writing, HP's CloudPrint site at cloudprint.hpl.hp.com has gone blank, stating only "thank you for your interest" along with a link to HP's home page. Perhaps that means they're making changes to it now.