Photos: HP looks at future tech

The Bangalore labs have also developed printcast technology that allows people to print documents related to information on a TV program as they watch.

Print applications such as this are more relevant in emerging markets such as India and China, where TV and radio broadcasting are much more pervasive than the Internet. In India, 650 million people have access to a TV compared to 15 million who have access to the Internet.

HP Labs India is doing field trials with ISRO, the Indian government's satellite company, and a state government broadcaster. It has been tested in 10 schools in the town of Tumkur near Bangalore.

The software embeds the print document into the TV signal. A decoder then unwraps the document from the TV signal. At the appropriate point during the TV program, the teacher can then print out the relevant document and share it with the pupils.

HP plans to license the software to set-top box manufacturers and the initial use is likely to be for government education programs. But HP admitted that future uses could allow advertisers to let viewers print information related to the advert they are watching.

Andy McCue

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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