It's unlikely you'll be finding this one at the nearest Office Depot or CompUSA anytime soon, but the Handheld sp400 All-in-One from HP (NYSE HPQ) is on display in the showcase area of the company's ImagePrint 2007 conference concluding today in Phoenix.
This is an industrial product that was designed by having HP design/marketing teams work closely with HP customers in their shipping areas, learning their process cold, and then building a solution to solve the unmet customer needs, in this case included inkjet printing and scanning, integrated with wireless communication with the centralized data base. It's a joy to see this marketing process at work, whether with consumers, office staff, or in this case shipping department managers and workers. Here's the message to the potential customer:
[As a] package rolls down the line, your crew can scan it, send data wirelessly, and then print a label or message directly on the package with one simple, portable device. Sound revolutionary? It is. In fact, the HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One is the first and only scan-and-print solution to integrate a 2D barcode imager, inkjet printer and wireless communication in one device.
ImagePrint's showcase is organized by "Vertical Market", and besides Manufacturing and Distribution, where I found the sp400, also includes Retail, Pharma and Life Sciences, Education, Government, Financial Services and Insurance, Healthcare, and Retail Banking. These specialty areas surround exhibits of more general interest, including (of course) HP's Edgeline solutions and a "Green Office" exhibit that deserves its own future post.