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HP finds its voice

HP has extended voice activated printing to consumers in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India, following its launch in the US.

Voice activated printing
Voice activated printing

A skill for two of the three major smart speaker platforms – Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (support for Microsoft Cortana is still only available in the US) – will enable users of its web-enabled printers to connect their devices to the virtual assistant eco-system and initiate printing through spoken commands.

Different content is available for printing on each platform, but the sorts of things users can ask HP Printer skills and actions to print include a shopping list, a sheet of graph paper, a Sudoku puzzle, a blank colouring page of a favourite character or a child’s weekly sports diary.

For HP, connectivity with smart speakers is just the first step in voice-enabling its devices. In the future, it is likely that voice commands will be integrated directly into its printers, eliminating the need to communicate via an additional device.

HP says integration will also voice-enable more tasks, such as connecting a printer to the home network, changing print settings or checking ink levels – all of which could be accomplished with spoken commands.

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