Cloud Engines, maker of the Pogoplug, will soon add a new feature to users’ devices free of charge. Once the firmware update is rolled out later this summer, the low cost gadgets will be usable as low-power printer servers, accessible from anywhere via the Internet.
What’s a Pogoplug? Basically the device is a tiny, low-power, inexpensive ($129) device that runs a customized Linux-based operating system. In its normal modes of operation, it works in tandem with web services supplied by Cloud Engines at Pogoplug.com. Until now, the gadget’s main purpose has been to enable you to remotely access the contents of USB-connected hard or flash drives over the Internet, as illustrated below.
Pogoplug uses web services at pogoplug.com to deliver content remotely
(click image to enlarge)
Thanks to the Pogoplug.com web services, you can access content located on a Pogoplug-attached drive from anywhere, using a browser-based interface on a laptop or desktop PC, or via a free mobile app on a handheld device such as an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Cloud Engines calls the Pogoplug’s new printer-services feature “Cloud Printing.” To implement this feature, the company is adding a set of printing services to what is provided by Pogoplug.com.
At this point, the company hasn’t detailed how you’ll be able to access a Pogoplug-attached printer from your desktop PC. It has, however, stated one option: emailing the file you want printed; presumably you’ll use a special Pogoplug,com address to do this. What’s not clear, though, is whether or how email clients, browsers, word processing programs, and the like will be able to print documents in a more-or-less normal manner to Pogoplug-attached printers.
By necessity, the Cloud Printing feature will only be usable with supported printers, since the Pogoplug.com-based web service will need to have the appropriate printer drivers integrated within its printing functionality. Initially, “all HP and Epson printers released in 2005 or later” will be supported, the company currently says.
For further information regarding the Pogoplug devices, visit Pogoplug.com.
You may also wish to read this recent DeviceGuru review of the Pogoplug, in which we deployed a Pogoplug as an iPod server.