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Portable Flat Surface Printer Computer Thing

For printing things (like words) on a flat surface (like paper) portably.
  [vote for,

This idea is intended for people who do not like to or can’t handwrite for whatever reason or for people who simply prefer to type (or like other features of the machine).

The printer would be powered by a rechargeable battery. It would have a small (but not too small) built-in keyboard with some extra buttons. It would also have a small display screen which the user can use to view the entered text before it is printed. The printer could possibly have a small camera built-in which would allow it to align the text with text already on the paper for example. The printer could also have a memory card slot (and/or some built-in memory) which could store your “signature” for example or other documents or possibly small graphics or images which would have already been prepared using a normal computer.

The printer could possibly have a touch screen instead of the keyboard which would be great for viewing and versatility, but it would use a lot more electricity which would make it have a much shorter battery life or it would require a larger battery which would make it less portable.

It could possibly use an e-paper like display instead of an LCD display.

This printer is not recommended for large paragraphs, or multiple page printing since the printer would only be able to print one or a couple of lines at a time depending on the size of the text.

The simpler it is, and fewer features it has, the cheaper it would be.

Instead of this whole idea, could possibly be just the printer part which could be plugged into a normal computer or a PDA or an iPhone or something with a special program for it.

BJS, Mar 05 2007

Photoshop Style Clone Pen Idea Physical_20_22Photo...tyle-Clone_22_20Pen
[cowtamer, Mar 06 2007]

Stowaway keyboard http://www.thinkoutside.com/
Folds out to full size [TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 06 2007]

baked http://www.printdre...c67663020ffe0b37c1c
This is really impressive [TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 06 2007]

The "Whooosh" http://www.createch...rintdreams/whooosh/
a different product by the same company. [BJS, Mar 06 2007]

DYMO LetraTAG QX50 http://global.dymo..../LetraTag_QX50.html
The printer could have much of the same technology as this label maker. [BJS, Mar 06 2007, last modified Mar 07 2007]

Put me in mind of this http://www.wired.co...,1284,64419,00.html
'If Paul Revere were alive today, he'd be on a bike' [moomintroll, Mar 08 2007]

Mutoh scriber picture http://indonetwork..../252104_scriber.jpg
[BJS, Mar 13 2007]

Mutoh scriber picture 2 http://img261.image...443/cimg1916zl1.jpg
[BJS, Mar 13 2007]

sony reader with a cool display http://www.learning...assets/itpd/reader/
thsi display uses two colours. it changes when electricity is applied, and hten retains that image. Good for battery life [Gallo Pinto, Mar 14 2007]


       a damn good idea....if you're James Bond.
samosa_pirate, Mar 06 2007

       Rechargeable battery; keyboard; extra buttons; display screen; camera; memory card; touch-screen. Oooh! And a PONY!
angel, Mar 06 2007

       angel: it's baked (see link), though I'm very sorry to say there's no pony. Hopefully they'll add that to a future product.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 06 2007

       The product in the link is very similar to my idea, but it doesn't have keyboard. It has "design disks" with preloaded letters, shapes, icons, WordArt, borders and phrases. You can not type in your own words. I believe you can print one letter at a time, which would is very inconvenient for my application.   

       The "Whooosh", which is scheduled to be launched by the end of the second quarter of 2007 is closer to my idea in that it uses memory cards, but it still does not allow you to type-on-the-go.
BJS, Mar 06 2007

       I don't understand what you want to know, or why you are comparing it to a computer screen.   

       If you are asking why the display screen would be flat to the surface the printer is on, the answer is it doesn't have to be, the display could have a hinge at the its base, which would allow you to tilt the screen towards you if it is on a level surface like a desk.
BJS, Mar 06 2007

       //angel: it's baked//

Only without the keyboard, extra buttons, camera or touch-screen.
angel, Mar 06 2007

       BJS and angel: If you click on the "Print on the Move" link in my or BJS' linkey you'll see that they have a printer designed for a wireless interface with a laptop or PDA. Hence keyboard, touch screen etc as per the last paragraph. If you look at their "opto-nav" technology, it's basically a camera that keeps track of where the printer is.   

       I'm not saying it's not a good idea, it's just that someone thought it before you, and rather amazingly, they also got it to work.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 07 2007

       "PrintDreams" does have pretty much all of the all of the technology for this idea, but not in one product, with a keyboard.
BJS, Mar 07 2007

       Wait, does it lay flat on paper? How big is it? Do you just lay it on some paper on a table and type and it prints to the paper?
daseva, Mar 07 2007

       Yes, you lay it flat on a piece of paper or another suitable material. Ideally it would be less than half the size of a sheet of paper but I don't know how thick. Yes, you set it down and position it before you press "Print".
BJS, Mar 07 2007

       OK, I'll grant that what you're describing is slightly different to the link, then, given your annos. However, I think the baked solution is very similar and actually a lot better.   

       With their solution you have a printer that fits in the palm of your hand, a PDA that fits in the palm of your hand, and a folding keyboard that folds very small (see my first link). This is more portable and more flexible than your solution. Size of printer no longer dictates size of print area, amongst many advantages.   

       Your proposed solution (if I understand it correctly) is basically a feature reduced small tablet PC with a printer head attached to the bottom. How does the printer head actuate itself after you've placed it on the paper? How are the head and cam protected when you are not printing?
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 08 2007

       The "solution" that you said is baked (it isn't baked yet since the The PrintBrush™ is still under development) wouldn't be very convenient since it involves 3 separate items and a keyboard that you have to unfold.   

       I don't know what you mean by "How does the printer head actuate itself after you've placed it on the paper?   

       The head and cam could have a sliding cover or something similar to protect them.
BJS, Mar 08 2007

       Yeah, I can't write very well... I like it.
fett625, Mar 08 2007

       As I see it, it is an already baked (and also burned) thing. People that remember the time when technical drawings were actually drawed, might remember the so-called "scribers", I used one from Mutoh. Basically it was a keyboard with a small LCD display and moving arm to which you attached a rapidograph pen, then you typed what you wanted to write and the moving arm would write it. If I remember correctly, it cound "print" to an area of about (WxH) 20x3 cms, which allowed, depending to the size of the font, up to four or five lines of "print". Just search in google for "Mutoh scriber" (without the quotes) and you'll find a few photos to see how they looked. (from announces of people selling them).
jaclaz, Mar 12 2007

       Talking of 'baked', isn't this how they print designs on top of cakes nowadays? (The fancier ones anyway, not ones that use simple slip-on transfers)
gtoal, Mar 13 2007

       Needs multiple ink cartridges.I suggest one for icing text onto cakes, and one for printing text with sunscreen onto friend's backs so they get a text-burn
Gallo Pinto, Mar 14 2007


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