Affordable portable mini-printers are useful now but not for too long

Last night as we traveled back from the airport I was hungry and decided to order a small pizza. There’s a place that makes good pizza near to our house. On their website they always have coupons for discounts and we use them nearly every time we go there. However on the road without a printer we were unable to print one out and get a discount on whatever might have been available. Unfortunately Planet Pizza like most local retailers does not allow you to show the coupon on your mobile device in order to use a coupon to get a discount.

Small portable printers have been around for several years. Of course what might be considered small and portable are adjectives that are best viewed through the eyes of the people that will use them. If you’ve rented a car anytime in the last few years you are probably familiar with the car rental company’s ability to print out your receipt on the spot. The devices they use to process the transaction are held in their hand and the printer often clipped on a belt. The print quality is acceptable but nothing great. This is the kind of device that would be practical for people to carry around in a car or even a briefcase.

When I started looking around for a small portable personal printer I was surprised to find there were not many reasonable options. The products were either too large, too expensive or both. Just to be clear I am looking for something small that could be held in one hand, and something that would cost under $ 75.00. A website advertises that it offers their PrintStik product as ‘The World’s Smallest Mobile Printer’. And small it is but it also costs $ 199.00. So far I have been unable to find anything that meets my small criteria at any price close to $ 75.00.

The other thing to keep in mind is the ultimate obsolescence of portable printers. After all with mobile communication sharing using things like NFC (near field communications) on the horizon it should not be too long before the need to print out a coupon is non-existent. It’s already happening with airline boarding passes and the trend is clear that ink on paper is fast becoming a relic.

Do you have any thoughts on using a miniature portable printer? Would you use one if it were affordable and available?

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver, baseball lover
This entry was posted in Customer Experiences, Innovation, Technology, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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