Little Printer for Business

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I want to talk about a new version of Little Printer

Since we released Little Printer, we’ve heard stories about it being used in commercial contexts. One company using it to print e-commerce orders to a store, in real time, so there’s a paper trail. A restaurant connecting front of house to the kitchen, printing out orders. A point of sale company experimenting with printing receipts…

This is weird! Little Printer prints out its face every time! And there are a thousand networked thermal receipt printers on the market. Surely one of those would do?

So we started looking into why.

It turns out that Little Printer has one big advantage over those other networked receipt printers: It’s developer friendly. There are two developer features in particular:

  • Little Printer, like all devices on the Berg platform, has a presence on the web. So it’s easy to send messages to it… easier than a printer that might connect with a different address each day
  • There are no print drivers and no difficult encoding. You print in HTML (the language of the web), and there are handy tools for development. So it’s easy to get great looking output

It turns out Little Printer is solving a real problem for commercial users!

Announcing Little Printer for Business

Today we’re opening up our trial of Little Printer for Business. The same easy-to-integrate printing from the web, with a business-friendly form factor. Read the Little Printer for Business product brief for features, the roadmap, and how to make an order.

Evaluation kits now available!

Part of Berg’s new direction

I wanted to call out this particular move on the Berg blog because of what we’re not doing.

Little Printer for Business isn’t a Berg product.

It’s a Berg-enabled product.

To create this product, we’ve partnered with Martel Instruments. Established in 1982, Martel Instruments produce and supply compact printers to your exact requirements. This particular thermal receipt printer is a model MCP1000 with some extra smarts added to the inside.

We won’t touch the product… Martel will take orders, produce, and sell the Berg-enabled MCP1000.

With our platform, and the cloud renderer add-on, we’re supplying the cloud services.

I’m excited about this move because it makes concrete the new strap on the front page of our website: Cloud services for hardware innovators.

We’re making possible somebody else’s business. This is exactly how I see Berg’s future. And while the connected products market is so early, we’ll do what we need to do to create the business ecosystem. Maybe this is one way the Internet of Things sector will grow.

Now this is a trial. There are already a couple dozen evaluation kits in the wild using the “Little Printer for Business” back-end, and they’ve printed many thousands of messages. We’re going to see how this V1 Berg-enabled receipt printer is used, and – depending on demand – move to a V2 wifi version with added features. We’re making this trial public (albeit in this low-fanfare Tuesday afternoon kind of way) because we want to talk about this style of partnership more widely, and because we want to see what you think.

What other Berg-enabled products could there be?

Read more

Read all about Little Printer for Business.

Get in touch if you’d like to talk.