Hewlett Packard has unveiled the 'world's first web-connected home printer' with the HP PhotoSmart Premium with Touchsmart Web allowing easy access to 'popular' digital content without the need for a PC.

Devices with built in internet functionality are set to flourish in the coming years, with Microsoft claiming last week that the tipping point had been reached.

Printers tend to be seen as peripherals, but the HP Photosmart Premium now begins internet connectivity without the need for a computer, although you would have to wonder who chooses the 'popular' content that you can access.The full internet, this is not.

Dowloadable

"In addition to receiving apps preloaded on the printer, people can download new ones as they become available at the HP Apps Studio to suit their interests and needs," says the release.

"With the sweep of a finger, users will be able to browse and view popular web destinations and simply touch the app of their choice to launch a web page where they can customize and print content on demand in an easy-to-read format."

There will be a number of apps available at launch with HP promising more to come.

"Twenty-five years ago HP invented consumer printing and today we aretaking advantage of the digital content explosion to reinvent the category with an entirely new printing platform – powered by touch and empowered by the web," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

"By giving people access to the content they want at the touch of a finger, the ability to customize their printing experience and create their own apps,and enabling easy 'one touch' wireless setup, we are driving a significant shift in how people will be printing in the future."