Over the last year or so, there’s been a bit of a trend to get what once was a purely digital news stream and turn it back into paper. The coolest implementation I’ve seen of this trend has been the use of receipt printers – those tiny thermal printers that are ubiquitous in retail shops, quickly printing on long rolls of paper.
Couple a receipt printer with a mini computer and a network connection, and you’ve got your latest news feeds, tweets, instagram pics, and anything else you can imaging on a low-tech piece of paper. A few notable projects:
Little Printer lives in your front room and scours the Web on your behalf, assembling the content you care about into designed deliveries a couple of times a day.
You configure Little Printer from your phone, and there’s some great content to choose from — it’s what Little Printer delivers that makes it really special. We have an incredible group of launch partners, and in the run-up to shipping we’re working with them all on custom publications.
Build an “Internet of Things” connected mini printer that will do your bidding! This is a fun weekend project that comes with a beautiful laser cut case. Once assembled, the little printer connects to Ethernet to get Internet data for printing onto 2 1/4″ wide receipt paper. The example sketch we’ve written will connect to Twitter’s search API and retrieve and print tweets according to your requests: you can have it print out tweets from a person, a hashtag, mentioning a word, etc! Once you’ve gotten that working, you can of course easily adapt our sketch to customize the printer.
The microprinter is an experiment in physical activity streams and notification, using a repurposed receipt printer connected to the web.
I use it for things like reminders, notifications, and my day at-a-glance, but anything that can be injected from the web and suits text only, short format messaging, will work.
More from Wired: