Thursday, January 10, 2008

HP Printing Mailbox

For years my mother, like many people her age, has struggled to operate a computer which has excluded her from joining the electronic age with the rest of her family. This year, my sister fixed that with the purchase of an HP Printing Mailbox ( Being the one who installed this product for my mother, I got to see the "appliance-like" experience built into the product first hand.

There are two user roles involved in use of the product - the non-technical user of the Printing Mailbox and an Internet-savy user who serves as the account manager. The account manager sets up the e-mail account including spam filters and security controls. They link the account to the home phone number that the Printing Mailbox connects in from. Then they simply connect Printing Mailbox to the phone line and it dials in to configure itself and is remotely managed from the central server. The central server even does diagnostics and tells the account manager of any problems (e.g. if the printer cartridge needs replacement).

This is a very cool example of the appliance experience.

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