London-based design studio Berg is working on a small, friendly box that prints little lists of pertinent information and stories for you to pin up around your house or studio. Little Printer automatically downloads content from the likes of Google, foursquare, the Guardian and Nike to produce to-do lists, running plans, lists of upcoming birthdays and the like.
Little Printer also sees the debut of the Berg Cloud platform, which is designed to connect 'smart products' – actually pretty dumb products in themselves, but which are told what to do by smart interconnected applications hosted online.
Berg is the studio behind innovative projects from SVK, a comic printed in invisible ink written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Matt Brooker, to helping Scandanavian publishing house Bonnier develop the Mag+ iPad magazine production platform. They also make neat inspirational posters.
Little Printer connects wirelessly to a little box you plug into your broadband router. It's configured from your phone, where an app (either a web app or a native one, Berg hasn't said) allows you to attach the printer to your account on Google and the like, and make decisions about what you want it to print. Then you set it going so you get prints every time something important happens, or every morning, or when you get home.
"We love physical stuff," says Berg's Matt Wedd. "Connecting products to the Web lets them become smarter and friendlier – they can sit on a shelf and do a job well, for the whole family or office – without all the attendant complexities of computers, like updates or having to tell them what to do. Little Printer is more like a family member or a colleague than a tool.
"Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend."
Little Printer will be available in 2012.