Little Printer, custom paper news-ticker for your living room

Today, London design firm Berg announced Little Printer, a "printer connected to the Web." Little Printer generates a hardcopy, customized news-ticker. It grabs stuff from sites based on your parameters, and you can send it stuff from your phone to read later. When you get home, you tear off the tape and have a little, disposable newspaper to read. It's the first product in a new line of "Berg Cloud" networked home appliances, all of which talk to a little custom box that you connect to your home router.

We love physical stuff. Connecting products to the Web lets them become smarter and friendlier – they can sit on a shelf and do a job well, for the whole family or office – without all the attendant complexities of computers, like updates or having to tell them what to do. Little Printer is more like a family member or a colleague than a tool.

Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.

Announcing Little Printer and BERG Cloud


    1. see, if it were t.p. it would offer so many efficiencies! you’d always have something to read.. you’d always use an appropriate amount of t.p., and, if you don’t like the news……

  1. Each Smiley Lego Guy enumerates another tree you killed. It’s like a family member who’s in the Tea Party.

  2. This honestly sounds like part of a bad comedy where the clueless hero invents something incredibly dumb and goes looking for venture capital in North Korea.

  3. It’s cute and all, but I really can’t get past how much paper that’ll waste. Most people are going to look at that strip for a few minutes and then toss it in the bin. Repeat every day and that’s just being wasteful for something that just as well could be a really cool, interactive app.

    Not really the innovative idea the world needs in 2011.

  4. I have no interest in feeds, cloud-based things, nor synergy, but I’m VERY intrigued by the idea of a tiny ticker-tape printer.

    I want to see some tech specs, hear what it will cost, and learn if there will be a driver to print with it directly.

    My end game may or may not be a Conky Halloween costume.

  5. I’m going to save the environment by getting one and having it print directly into the recycling bin. 

  6. Also, this looks like a mid-late-80s sci-fi movie’s idea of how we’d all get information in the future.

  7. sheesh. let’s get on with retrofitting it with toilet paper. or make paper that doubles as composting material, with seeds in it. i’m just spitballing here. 

  8. “Bad news boss, your idiot nephew just bought two warehouses of two inch wide thermal paper. We’ll be ruined.”
    “Don’t worry, I know a guy in London who can make a cutesy thermal printer the kids will love. It’ll be the next iPod or Furby or some damn thing.”

  9. Print out origami folding designs, or papercraft 8-bit style characters, etc. The possibilities are endless*! (* for finite values of endless)

  10. Don’t quite understand the negativity.  I work in my own office and often do the shopping on the way home.  A ticker for my wife to send notes about things to get on the way home would be a brilliant app for me.  My handwriting is all but useless and I find trying to follow a shopping list on a smart phone infuriating.

    1. My handwriting is all but useless and I find trying to follow a shopping list on a smart phone infuriating.

      That’s a pretty narrow niche; I’d just print out the list on index cards.

    2. Maybe you just need a better app? Or a better phone? I’ve been my phone for shopping lists for at least a couple of years now.

      For those rare times I want it printed I’m far more likely to find it easier to print to either the printer at work or at home than run some specialized app that prints to this thing.

  11. You could make it print out a long sheet to use as toilet paper but really; just learn to use the three seashells!

  12. I can program my HP All-In-One to do the exact same thing, kind of like running onto the newsroom floor and ripping a piece off the AP Wire feed. 

  13.  The last sentence is too cute to be true… “Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.” WOW PAPER!!! The future technology!!!

  14. Great, just what I need….I can scan the hard copy back through my Fuji mini scanner later to transfer to my iPhone so I can read it on the train. Then after that I will get Siri to read it to me in the car through my aux input on the CD player…then I will have all that insignificant shit in every orifice.
    Life just gets better doesn’t it?

  15. I’m thinking this might be pretty useful for printing coupons. Tweek your feed just right and go through them every few days.

    1. Surely we should instead be heading in the direction of coupons that do not need to be printed? This is cool in a pneumatic tube sort of way – fun to think about, but no one in their right mind would actually switch to have all of their email delivered as a print-out in a pneumatic capsule.

      On a side note, I think it is interesting to contrast the Little Printer with the Nest thermostat from a innovative product design perspective. Berg seems to try to combine some buzzy tech trends in an unexpected way – “cloudy social micro-curation… ON PAPER!” (so – we have these new tools, how can we combine them?), whereas Nest seems to have taken the use-case first route – “we want more tweakable room temperature achieved with less fiddling – can new tech help us do this?” While both approaches can produce an initial “wow cool” reaction, I think only the latter produces innovation with a high potential of making a lasting impact on the world, rather than a high-tech tchotchke.

      1. Well it seems paper(coupons) will be around for a while. Standard printer paper is many times more wasteful than a smaller option like this. That said, this will surely fail, and when it does I want to pick one up on the cheap and use it in a way that benefits me while lowering my use of other resources, i.e. whole daily newspapers for coupons, coupon books where I use less than 1/4 of the coupons, etc.

        I’ll choose to look on this as the hybrid car of printers. Yeah, I think fully electric/fuel cell/BacktotheFuture cars are the way to go, but many factors keep them from being widespread for the time being. In the meantime, bridge technologies can reduce our usage of resources and bring us closer to that ‘ideal’.

        (I’ll also print cute little notes that I can slip in my sweeties books, mini revolutionary banners to hang up in the gerbil cage and other things to confuse and delight those around me.)

        1. I use coupons from the internet fairly regularly (though it sounds like perhaps you’re a real hardcore coupon clipper, I’m certainly not) but I haven’t personally printed one out in, well, years now that I think about it.

          Just pull up the coupon on a smartphone and they’ll usually accept it. I once had someplace refuse this – they wanted me to have a printed copy – so I just left without giving them my business. It’s not like I couldn’t just print out as many copies of it as I wanted, since it came from the internet, so businesses have no realistic reason to refuse to accept coupons this way.

          Now, there are some cases where a printout is better. I once tried using the electronic boarding pass option United has. I felt really cool doing it as I went through security (and there was some murmuring about it in the line behind me – people were impressed), but then when I got to boarding the plane it wouldn’t come up again and I had no signal. I managed to get it eventually, but I was quite perturbed for a bit and I very easily could have missed the flight if I didn’t notice it wouldn’t come up and then didn’t have time to get a printed boarding pass.

          But… you’re not likely to have this sort of problem with a simple coupon :)

  16. It looks like a Thermal Printer.
    The Paper is probably impregnated with Bisphenol A.
    There goes everyone’s Hormone Levels.

  17. Ah… they might not have accepted your virtual coupon because they needed to put that coupon in the till to balance at the end of the night… or they might need to submit it to a national coupon clearinghouse so it could be reimbursed by the manufacturer…

  18. I am now officially old. I have just read some advertorial copy telling me (a 50 something guy who grew up with paper) of the benefits of paper “You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.” I’ve simultaneously realised that there are now people on the planet (the ones who grew up with iPods and iPads) to whom this will be interesting and exciting news.

  19. Someone needs to invent some kind of output technology that uses very little power to produce a display similar to paper, and which could be made light and easy to carry around… Haha… wow – I guess I read too much science fiction. 

  20. I’m actually really interested in the details of how they’re putting this online. If the kind of plug and play gizmo they’ve come up with that you plug into your home network and that then talks with the printer is extensible and easily accessible by other devices that could actually be a real boon to all sorts of folks who are interested in network aware things.

  21. While I’m just as amused by the copy “Paper is like a screen that never turns off!”, I am attracted to tactile things and don’t always want to be referring to my phone. What would be ideal is if I can have the ability print my own phone drawings and such. Comic strips would be delightful to make and/or subscribe to and  directly printing quick quotes or images I want to post on my studio wall or tuck into my sketchbook would be nice as formatting small things for the printer often seems sluggish, but perhaps there’s a better way I’m unaware of.

    Getting a 4square lowdown or reading the headlines has no appeal to me however . . .
    Plus if it’s thermal printing, maybe that’ll make it cheaper than printer ink?
    The face annoys me a bit, but so does Siri having a “personality”.

  22. That does look like a thing that would either completely pass you by or change your life with very little in between. I think the idea of having a daily print out from the internet is so 90s I can hardly believe it and just as appealing as it always was, it’s good to have a list of what’s coming up first thing in the morning. 

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