HP CEO Meg Whitman
Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman has been focussed on developing new technology since being appointed CEO in 2011.
At a leading IT conference in Bangkok, HP’s President and CEO, Meg Whitman, made an announcement that has the whole 3D printing industry sit up and take note. “3D printing is in its infancy. It is a big opportunity and we are all over it. We will have something by the middle of next year."
HP’s previous foray into 3D printing was a licensing agreement in 2010 from Stratasys to re-brand the popular Stratasys U-Print as a HP DesignJet 3D. Although this agreement was short lived – ending just two years later – it did not quench HP’s thirst for 3D printing but merely stir the company into making its own printer.
"We are excited about 3D printing," Whitman said at the Canalys Channels Forum in Bangkok, adding, "We want to lead this businesses. HP labs is looking at it."
HP or Hewlett-Packard made a great deal of its money introducing desktop inkjet and laser paper printers to the desktop in the 80s and 90s, it has always felt like a matter of time before they entered this rapidly growing market.
Reading between the lines of Whitman’s speech it does not appear as if HP will be licensing existing technology but creating their own. Whitman was fairly critical of the existing tech as she said, "To print a bottle can take eight to ten hours. That's all very interesting, but it is like watching ice melt… how do we commercialise to print faster, at lower price points, to enable service providers?"
We look forward to hearing more from the company whose revenues may be falling since the advent of the tablet computers but still pack some punch when it comes to R&D, what with their 331,000 employees.