HP has created a print channel for the service "If This Then That" (IFTTT -- usually pronounced "If-tee"). This has the effect of providing automated printing to 40 million printers on the Internet of Things.

What IFTTT does

IFTTT is to online apps what macros are to spreadsheets. IFTTT allows consumers to automate routine steps that involve several apps. IFTTT users can create automated workflows — called "applets" — that allow them to minimize routine work. For example, IFTTT lets users automatically send a tweet on Twitter whenever they post a photo on Instagram. (If Instagram, then tweet.)

IFTTT's pitch is:

Applets bring your favorite services together.

In techno-generic terms, IFTTT creates solutions that integrate popular social media channels on the Internet of Things. 

In plain terms, IFTTT does two things:

  • Makes it easy to command connected devices

  • Removes a lot of routine and time-consuming jumping back and forth between apps

Practical categories

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IFTTT has sorted its time-saving recipes into practical categories:

  • Connect Your Home

  • Keep in Touch

  • Be More Productive

  • News Alerts

  • Stay Healthy

  • Shop Smarter

Adding HP printers

IFTTT recognized the usefulness of printing. HP already had about 40 million web-enabled printers on the Internet of Things. (All HP printers made since 2010 are web-enabled.) HP created the cloud connection in order to monitor customers' ink levels and automatically send refills through its ink subscription program, called Instant Ink. (Imagine never running out of ink again.)

HP Print applets

Popular HP Print recipes on If This Then That

For IFTTT, those millions of cloud connected printers on the Internet of Things made it a slam dunk to add a whole slate of more than 150 printing applets.

The most popular are:

  • Print a photo from your phone

  • Print Amazon Shopping list with checkboxes

  • Print a map of your current location

  • Print a note to an HP printer

  • Print photos from a Dropbox folder

  • Print iOS Photo in print folder

  • Print Android Photo in Area

  • Print Instagram with hashtag #print

  • Print Facebook with hashtag #print

  • If item moved to print folder, then print Web Article

Check out the full lineup of more than 150 print recipes at ifttt.com/hp.

The Big Picture

To understand how these new channels fit into HP's print strategy, read the blog post by HP Chief Technologist Phillip McCoog

"IFTTT symbolizes the new type of integration, 'Hyper-Integration,' which will be the hallmark of IoT systems. It is no longer the responsibility of each device, service, or app provider to integrate with all possible other devices, services, or apps. End users who are comfortable with technology can create new integrations, or in IFTTT terminology, recipes. Recipes take less than 2 minutes to create.

Many users will use recipes suggested by the channel provider, while other users will adopt and contribute their favorite recipes in a crowd-sourcing model. It is taking mash-ups to the next level. Just as mash-ups allowed web page developers to quickly create powerful web solutions by combining web elements into a new solution, IoT solution engines like IFTTT combine powerful existing 'triggers' and 'actions' into recipes which enable explosive growth of solutions."