Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Mobile printing and a web enabled mobile phone ...

If we use the framework proposed in my previous post we can easily extend this to printing via mobile phones. Teppo Raisanen in his paper on a framework for mobile printing proposes a scenario whereby people use their mobile phones to print documents that they retreive from their filestore.

Now, in a managed student printing environment we don't want students randomly walking up to printers and blatting jobs at printer's IR ports but we can do something clever that allows them to access their filestore and then select a file for processing.

Imaging the following:

We provide a webapp that allows the students to see all the files in their filestore. The ones that we can print are not greyed out. The easy ones are pdf and text as we know how to do that. However if we use something like open office as a backend processor we should be able to open Open Office in command line mode and batch convert the document to pdf and submit it through as before. Formatting may not be perfect in all cases but the student can create a ps spool file from their mobile phone which they can release to printing at a time and place of their choosing.

And that's probably a good enough approximation to Teppo Raisanen's retrieve anywhere / print anywhere scenario for most practical purposes.

[Addendum - while researching this I came across who offer a web based on demand conversion service - cool!]

No comments: