Design Digest

Looking Back: The Little Printer

Little Printer: one of the earlier Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices goes out with a smile.

Back in 2012, a London consultancy firm called Berg (“the British Experimental Rocket Group”) launched a curious little device that could print out ‘mini-newspapers’ from various online sources, including pictures, social media messages, news and puzzles. Using a mobile app, users can use their smartphones to set subscriptions and Little Printer will gather the data to create a beautiful mini-newspaper.

berg-little-printer

Photo: Berg Cloud, Engadget

Several thousand Little Printers were sold around the world, creating a small but loyal community. Its super cute, perpetually smiling face and minimalist design earned it a nomination for Design of the Year award in 2013 from the Design Museum in London.

You can print out almost anything you want. From puzzles to news articles, to comics and even a to-do list, Berg partnered with influential content providers like Google, The Guardian, Nike and Foursquare. You could even take a picture while you’re on a holiday, send it to your loved ones and have them print it out on their own Little Printer. The secret to the magic lies in the Berg Cloud, an online platform where you can compile and manage your subscriptions and send it wirelessly to your Little Printer.

However, it wasn’t enough to create a sustainable business. Berg announced at the end of 2014 that it would be going into hibernation in the hopes of searching for a buyer to acquire the company. They also considered to release the source code for Little Printer so users can continue to run the service, but as of December 2015, there’s no news if they managed to find a company who would give Little Printer a second life.

We think it’s such a shame that such a wonderful idea turned out to be unsuccessful. Do you think print media is a dying art? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share and follow us on social media to stay updated with the latest stories.

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