Idea: printer sharing

tag: idea

I was thinking today about how to print out a recipe at a friend’s
house. If I have the website on my phone, I could send her a link and
she could print it to her printer, from her own computer—but what if
it’s just on my thumbdrive or smartphone or camera?
I could give her my widget, let her connect it to her computer, and
transfer the media—but that leaves us both open to exchanging
viruses, accidental dropping of my toy, incompatible software issues,
etc. Less than ideal.

If I’ve set it up, I can print directly from my phone to a print
server, but I haven’t set up her printer on my phone, and the setup is
complicated. What if there were an easier way? What if her printer
could advertise itself directly to my phone?

But what, you say, if I then print something stupidly large? I need
an incentive not to do that. Money is a good incentive. If her
printer charged my phone (say, my iTunes account, or Amazon payments,
or BitCoin, or whatever e-currency you prefer) $0.10 per page, that’s
plenty of incentive to avoid printing huge documents. People could set
their own prices, based on how much they want random people using
their printer. Businesses could offer this as a service to customers
and neighbors, using hardware they already had.

There are some security concerns, but I think they can be worked around.

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