Pogoplug, the popular device that makes the content of your external USB drive available on the Internet, just announced a major new feature. Later this summer, Pogoplug users will be able to plug any modern HP and Epson printer into their devices and make them available for printing from any device. To print a document from an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or any other Internet-connected device, a user can simply email the document to a private address and the service will route it to the user's Pogoplug and printer.
The service, which will be free of charge, will support all HP and Epson printers released since 2005. Pogoplug owners will receive a software update later this summer and compatible printers will work without the need for additional drivers. The Pogoplug, which currently retails for $129, features four USB ports.
While there are a few similar solutions that also allow users to email their documents to their printers, almost all of these expect that a computer is running at all times. With the Pogoplug, there is no need to keep a computer running.
Is Cloud Printing in Your Future?
Given that printing is one of the last computing tasks that is still tied to a specific location, it doesn't come as a surprise that multiple vendors are currently working to make local printers available over the Internet. Just a few months ago, for example, Google announced that it is working on a cloud printing feature for the upcoming Chrome OS. In Google's plans, users will either be able to connect compatible printers directly to the Internet or route the information to a printer that is tied to an Internet-connected PC. HP, too, offers its own tools for cloud printing.