HP, one of the most well known brands in commercial and personal printer technology, just added in support for Alexa voice control for their line of printers. This opens up a wide range of possibilities for users of the Alexa powered devices that can now command their printer to provide them with a printed copy of whatever the service has access to.
It should be noted that the company already added support for Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant last year. In fact, it is a little baffling that the company would wait until support for the former was added before supporting Amazon’s Alexa powered devices, which currently make up for a great majority of the smart speakers on the market.
One of the biggest changes to the way we will go about printing things has changed, with the old method seeming extremely clunky and obsolete. Ordinarily, if I wanted to print my calendar, I’d navigate to the website, then export the calendar and then attempt to print it while hoping it would look presentable. But that’s how people printed things in the last decade. How would you go about printing now?
For starters, know your smart assistant’s limitations and make sure you have a compatible web-connected printer. HP’s site is a very good place to begin with setting up your printer to accept voice commands from Alexa. We’ve tested the steps on an HP Envy 4520, OfficeJet 4650, OfficeJet 3830 and OfficeJet Pro 6968 successfully and outlined the steps here for your convenience:
- Locate your printer’s email address from the control panel or a Web Services information sheet.
- Manually enable the HP Printer skill from your phone or your computer, more details on how to do this are on HP’s site.
- You can start printing with voice commands now by prefixing “Alexa, ask my printer to…” to every command you want to use.
Make sure you check the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the page linked above, because you could possibly run into issues like an “Unable to link your Skill” message when trying to enable your skill. Supported Amazon products include the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Fire 7 and Fire Tablet.
HP currently supports connecting one printer to one virtual assistant at a time, though this could change at a later time. You’ll also need to pair your smart speaker back to your printer if you get a replacement or buy a new one, though that basically involves getting the printer’s email address and adding it to your system.
The company deserves praise for beating the competition, adding the feature in where most other products will now have to race to play catch up with HP. It’s also a good sign that the company has chosen to use existing smart home assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant instead of rolling their own solution and crowding up the market with yet another locked down assistant. We suspect that HP will gain a large lead over the competition by the time they can come up with a viable solution that just works the way it does with regular solutions.