By: Heidi Kulicke
New technology is exciting. There’s never a shortage of ideas to make life easier and more enjoyable. But how some inventions make it past the drawing board remains a mystery. Take for instance the DryEar Ear Dryer, a machine designed to dry your ears after showering or swimming, or the motorized ice cream cone holder, perfect for those too lazy to turn their wrist to get to the other side.
And then there’s the Little Printer, a device with an identity crisis and no clear objective other than spitting out moderately useful scraps of paper.
The Little Printer creates a daily printout the size of a receipt, with customizable content the owner controls from a smartphone app. It’s marketed to those who want a paper printout of their friends’ Foursquare check-ins and other social media activity, crossword puzzles, shopping checklists, to-do lists, and news headlines. Most of the uses are fine, however stalkerish the Foursquare check-ins might be. But news headlines? Printed news has a name — it’s called a newspaper.
Maybe the Little Printer, designed by BERG studios in London and available sometime this year, will be a hit. Maybe it will somehow pique a user’s interest enough to go online and read about a news story (from a newspaper’s website, of course). Maybe consumers will gush over its cute little face and comb-over. Or, maybe not.