When HP purchased WebOS, I figured at best we would see the OS on things like netbooks, tablets, and new smartphones. When HP started to mention that webOS would find its way onto other devices like printers, I wondered what the point was. WebOS on a printer alone was of little value in my mind, but the New York Times is talking about a new feature for printers that would be very useful.
I can certainly see printers connected to the internet being useful if those printers, possibly sporting webOS, could print documents that are received via their own email address. The NYT reports that HP has new web connected printers coming with their own email address, touchscreens and print-by-email functionality.
This would be a great feature for users of devices like the iPhone and iPad that lack the ability to print emails or documents received. The new printers will reportedly range in price starting at $99 and going up to $400. With this feature all of those photos you take on your iPhone could be emailed to the HP printers for printing rather than having to synchronize them to your desktop and then print. The WebOS printers would also have an app store that would allow developers to build services and apps for smartphones of all kinds that would take advantage of the web connected design.