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Sabtu, 11 Januari 2014

Looking for a better cloud receipt printer

The problem of remote printing

I have been looking for a solution to print out receipt-like stuff remotely, be it online food order or e-commerce shipping request.  As a geek person, I also wish it to be cheap enough to use.  So far I have not had great success in finding such a product/service.

A few promising candidates are:

Little Printer from BERG
Problem:
  • Expensive. I mean, very expensive. 
  • Not durable.  The construction fits for a hobby project, but not shop floor.
This little printer fits the bill except for its price tag.  I dont know about you guys; a little printer retails for $219 plus $40 shipping is insane to me.


     
    SMS/GPRS Printer
    Problem:
    • Need to roll(develop) my own server infrastructure.
    • Requires mobile data plan. (Expensive in Canada)
    This $99 device is almost right for my purpose.  Only it is offered by some Chinese suppliers that I do not have a lot of faith in their software quality.



    E-print, Cloud Print, Epson, HP, Canon
    Problem:
    • Large size. (Dont like a full size laser-jet on the desk.)
    • Printing delivery by email, no API/Service for delivery status.
    • Maintenance issue. (ink, toner, paper jam)




    Google Clould Print
    Problem:
    • Can only use under someones gmail account.  Not ideal for large number of deployment.
    • Requires computer(or Raspberry Pi).



    Seriously, how difficult it is to make a receipt printer that fits my use case without breaking the bank?
    • Connects on Lan/Wifi (Free if I already have internet)
    • Easy to use API to print things.
    • Provide server infrastructure at very low recurring charge. (Just like Twilio)
    • And the printer sells for under $100


    (I will post another article on my own version of cloud receipt printer soon)


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