An Interview with Tuvia Elbaum, Founder and President, Zuta Labs
An new gadget that has gotten a lot of attention recently is the Pocket Printer by Zuta Labs. Their Kickstarter Campaign is going strong, with almost all the money they need ($382,339 of asked for $400,000 as of 4/16), and they still have 23 days left in their campaign. The idea is simple, to create a truly portable printer that can print on any size page. We were able to reach out to the people responsible, Zuta Labs, and one of their founders, Tuvia Elbaum was kind enough to provide responses to our questions. The transcript of our email interview is below:
1) Can you provide a brief history and overview of Zuta Labs(how/when they were formed, etc.)? Who are the people involved in the company and what are their backgrounds?
I'm an entrepreneur (CMO & one of the founders of Umoove.me, founded my first company 8 years ago) and a year ago, while studying Business & Technology at the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) during the evenings, they started an entrepreneurship program where they offered a small amount of capital, assistants and guidance from professors to build projects.
I came up with the idea itself from my day-to-day life where I'm always working on the go from my smartphone, tablet and laptop, in random places and when I wanted to print something- a memo before or after a meeting, a term sheet, short contract or even an essay for school- I had to run and look for a printer or wait till I got home or to the office. When I went online to look for a portable printer, I only found printers that are either too big to really carry around or too small to print on a standard A4 page. I noticed, that all the printers had to have the paper feed through the device, so I thought, hey why not put the cartridge on a robot and let it run around by itself and that will allow the printer to be really small and yet print on any size paper.
We're a team of students (well, some of us are former students by now). The team is piloted by Matan Caspi and myself, who studied business and technology in the Jerusalem College of Technology. Yonni Stein is our designer (elite design academy Bezalel), leon Rosengarten and Gilad Schnurmacher (Hadassah College and JCT, accordingly) are the engineers with profound skills and experience in robotics and Jack Gottesman is leading our Social media and marketing efforts.
2) Is the Pocket Printer the first gadget of this type that you designed? Who is the intended audience for a product like this? What prompted you to bring something revolutionary like the Pocket Printer to market?
As mentioned above, I came up with the idea from my day to day life, when I saw that a real mobile printer is missing from the market. It's intended for anyone who works on the go, which is almost any business related work- lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs and even students for example. Think about all these people you see working in Coffee shops. This is our first product as a group working together.
3) 3)What are the physical dimensions of the Pocket Printer? Does it really fit in one's pocket?
No, the final product that we designed and are raising the money to build, wouldn't fit in your pocket, but it's really small. The physical dimensions and weight: 10 centimeters high and 11.5 centimeters in diameter and will weigh about 300g. We will do our best to make it even smaller, and if not in the Kickstarter version, then in later ones, till it really fits your pocket...
4) What limitations, if any, do you see for your Pocket Printer? Is color printing available, and how long is the ink supposed to last?
The user will have to place the printer on a flat and smooth surface which is relatively parallel to the ground. Also, if you'd want to print 20 pages, it might be a hassle :) the printer is meant for printing several pages, when you're on the go. We're using a standard ink cartridge, so therefore it's gray-scale. We plan on working with the cartridge manufactures to offer a colorful printer in later versions.
5)What can you tell us about the printing process, that is, how does it actually work?
Just like any other printer- it will move from side to side and then go down after it finished printing a line.