Last year I wrote of the Artefact Group and their vision for a redesign of the digital camera, with its Camera Futura design concept. Now it has turned its mind to the printer, with the SWYP printer concept. Just as with the Camera Futura, the SWYP Printer is not in production, more are there any plans right now for it to be so. At this point it’s only a design concept, a group of people looking at a common device, and think, “What if…”.
That’s SWYP, an initialisation of See What You Print. In a nutshell, it’s taking a lot of the functionality and user interface of touchscreen mobile phone, with a view to making printing simpler, and to add creativity at the level of the printer, rather than having to manipulate images using computer software.
Artefact’s guiding design principles were:
Radically simple editing and printing: show people exactly what the printed page will look like, and make it as simple as possible to edit and format the print. When you print only what you intend, you eliminate the frustration and waste of unwanted prints.
I mentioned above not needing a computer, but the SWYP goes further than that. What Artefact really want to do is cut any sort of need for a wire. Be it printing from a computer, a digital camera, a smartphone… no wires. And the photo files don’t have to be resident on a device, they could be on Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox – if you can see the image, or document for that matter, then you can print it.
There’s also no on/off button on the SWYP, rather it works rather in the manner of the Smart Cover used on the iPad 2. As you open the fabric-covered paper tray, from its position atop the printer, the SWYP switches on.
See the SWYP in action in this video mock-up produced by Artefact: