HP is smartening up its printers by enabling them with voice command support. Essentially allowing HP printer owners to print just by asking the printer to print. Well, asking one of the virtual assistants to start the printing process as what HP technically announced was printer support not just for Amazon’s Alexa assistant, but also Google Assistant (through Google Home), and Microsoft’s Cortana. The use of the latter two had already been available since late last year therefore Alexa is the only new addition. In either case, in a new Garage by HP blog post, HP details the voice command feature in general, as well as stating how HP has become the “first printer company to enable intuitive voice commands on leading smart speaker platforms,” due to now having secured support for the three major voice assistants.
As part of that announcement, HP explained that enabling voice command printing through third-party smart speaker solutions is only the start of things to come, as the company expects printers in the future to arrive to market with the tech already included – omitting the need for the smart speaker/hub completely. Furthermore, printing will only be one of the aspects that is available through voice commands, with printer owners also expected to be able to gauge ink levels by asking the printer how much ink is left, as well as initiating a voice command to change the printer settings before printing. This is the plan, at least, according to HP’s General Manager and Global Head of Home Printing, Anneliese Olson.
Besides the convenience of having the technology included with the printer, it might also prove to be a little less confusing for the user. As HP has explained that while support for the three voice assistants is now available, the support does differ across the three assistants. For example, HP notes how when using Alexa you can ask Amazon-specific commands such as “print my Amazon shopping list.” While when using Google Assistant, commands such as “print my Google Calendar” are possible. Therefore, it does seem at present that each virtual assistant provider is tailoring the use of HP’s voice command printing more towards its services. For those interested in learning more about the benefits of voice command printing through a specific voice assistant, head through one of the links below.