HP is expecting to launch “intelligent” printers and computers later this year. Mike Lynch, former owner of Autonomy, now head of HP’s Information Management Business, since he sold Autonomy to HP last year, says the technology will be embedded in the equipment. Autonomy is a software company that created “search” software to identify insider trading at banks, and monitoring phone calls at call centers.
Autonomy’s software can “extract meaning from unstructured data such as audio, video, social media, email and web content.” It can also allow HP’s printers to serve as intelligent storage devices, where it can scan documents and organize them based on the information the document contains.
Frank Gillett, analyst at Forrester, the technology research group said that, “it would create an electronic document storage system that could be linked to an online HP service.” He added, “The printer might even be able to say ‘hey that looks like an insurance document and the last date of the insurance is coming up, do you want to renew?’”
Another application of Autonomy is in HP’s mobile phone software and services, as HP Chief Executive Meg Whitman has been promoting WebOS, HP’s open-source mobile operating system. “What is on your smartphone is not structured data,” Mike Lynch said. “On a mobile, the system needs to understand the context, such as where you are now. Mobile is going to be a primary platform for Autonomy.”
This move however, will put HP in direct competition with Microsoft, Google, and Apple, since they already are offering online storage and management of documents. Apple has its voice recognition software Siri, which is able to understand speech.
Adrian Drury, analyst at technology research group Ovum, is uncertain about HP’s success for this product in the consumer market. “We are looking for HP to get its strategy back on track by focusing on the enterprise market, not overstretching itself by becoming a consumer devices company of a consumer cloud services company,” he said.
HP is in competition with Apple with the launch of its thinner and lighter notebooks, and its Total Care centers, similar to Apple’s Genius Bars, where computer experts can assist customers with their computer needs.