Saturday, April 17, 2010

Universal Printer Access From Cloud

Google is planning to release their Google Chrome OS by the end of this year after they announced it last year. Many obstacles has been taken care by Google, such as speed, security, boot problems, and many more within the Chrome OS design. It's slick, fast, and should be stable due to Chrome's auto check during boot up and also auto update to make sure users gets the latest stable code to prevent unwanted threat on their netbooks.

Even so, we have to understand that Google Chrome OS is just an operating system with only browser, Google Chrome. This raises a problem with connecting to some devices, such as printers. Each printers will have different drivers, unlike flash drive or hard drive or digital camera which usually works on USB ports.

That's why Google is working on this and they have announced that they are working on an idea called Google Cloud Print. The idea how it will work in the future can be described in the screenshot below. Basically, it's like having a cloud access to any printer in the world (they must be accessible from the Internet). The job will be sent through Google Cloud Print technology, which they are trying to build right now.

Basically, it's just another Google API projects, in which users can access the API and send the job information to the target printers. The API will take care the rest.

You might ask, "how do Google connect to the current printers?". Good questions. They do need some kind of proxy installed on your computer so that your current printers (called legacy printers) can be accessed via Internet. This requires your desktop to be online 24 hours a day if you want to be able to use the printers, unless someone has started hacking to provide some small mini computers who have proxy support on it and it can be used to share the printers to the Internet. Google is now working with printer vendors to make their future printers support this feature, so they will start producing Cloud-Aware Printers, so no need to use special computer to provide proxy access to the printer.

If you are curious about this feature, check Google Cloud Print Overview.