HP SaaS drawing storage set to expand (and integrate?)

Reprographic hardware corporation HP launched its SaaS-based cloud storage service, ePrint & Share nearly two years ago (post), and has continued to market itself to UK users ever since (I wrote about its Android app launch in May 2012). I was invited to a launch event at the RIBA in London today (24 September), where it announced:

“the second generation of its free web service for AEC professionals, HP Designjet ePrint & Share, which makes it easy to access and print large-format documents using an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone, a laptop or ePrinter touch screen.”

However, this wasn’t the headline – the company was more focused on promoting some new hardware, launching entry-level, web-connected solutions for large-format printing from virtually anywhere – new offerings targeted at AEC students, professionals and small studios. (SME level pricing starting from £745 for the 24-inch T120 printer; a 36-inch T520 costs £1825). These come with wifi access as standard, as well as LAN access, and are web-connected, enabling printing and file access from virtually anywhere, with copies of files automatically saved to the cloud, and the ability to attach a file to an email and print.

A voxpop video of beta users of the HP service showed someone accessing HP’s cloud service via AutoCAD WS on an iPad (post), and when I asked about wider access via third-party applications, HP DesignJet manager Phil Oakley also talked about accessing content stored in DropBox, and then mentioned PlanWell – a file-sharing service developed by US-based reprographic provider ARC which is also accessible via HP printers. But wider integration between HP ePrint & Share and third party platforms sounds to be on the way – I was told to “watch this space,” and look for an announcement in early 2013.

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