The ZUtA Pocket Printer: Tiny Product, Big Impact

Article by Taylor Kigar

All the office tools of the 21st century have become mobile, except for one: the printer. We’re all out working on our tablets and laptops, but when it’s time to print out the final piece, we’re pulled back to that box in the back room. But thanks to Matan Caspi and Tuvia Elbaum, graduates of the Jerusalem College of Technology, that’s all about to change.

The ZUtA Pocket Printer is the first completely portable prototype that can wirelessly print from your smartphone, computer, or tablet onto any size paper. Weighing a mere 300 grams and only 10x11.5 cm, it has a sleek teardrop shaped body of polycarbonate that glides over the print surface with the help of an omni-wheel system and high resolution sensor. It also comes with a fully rechargeable battery, each charge lasting about an hour.

It’s like Caspi and Elbaum took the idea of the moving cartridge inside today’s printers and gave it a driver’s license. The current prototype prints black and white at 96x192 dpi at 1.2 pages a minute, but with a fully funded kickstarter, and lots of big name company offers (including an opportunity to present at Microsoft’s innovation event earlier this month called ThinkNext) the possibilities for this little robot are unimaginable.

The ZUtA team turned to Kickstarter to fund their project and have already reached their goal two weeks early, but there’s still time to donate until May 10th. The funds raised will be used to order the custom-made parts for the final product, and will also go towards further research to solve the problem of the printer to resume performance if knocked off the page (which would be very necessary for households with cats, as a few commenters admitted).

But with enough support and future research, the world of printing will be changed forever. Gone would be the days of those pesky drivers—the printer is controlled by Bluetooth, so no installing when moving from device to device. And fine artists won’t need printers the size of spaceships to create large photographs or posters either. Just a trusty little robot, chugging along quietly to its own little tune. The ZUtA might be small now folks, but its impact could be very big.

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Article by Taylor Kigar

Images courtesy of Zuta Labs