Canon could be turning out more mobile printing solutions soon. On Tuesday, Canon Europe announced the acquisition of Kite.ly, a mobile ecommerce platform designed for in-app printing.
Canon Europe says the new acquisition will allow the company to expand their digital services, offering “a print ecosystem unrivaled in scope.” Kite.ly isn’t a stand-alone program but rather allows developers to embed printing programming into their own apps. Through the Kite.ly’s SDK and API code, developers can add a printing solution to their apps, allowing customers to purchase custom print products in-app without actually setting up their own printing and shipping center. The developer provides the graphics, Kite.ly creates and ships the products as well as the programming framework to fulfill the orders.
“Bringing Kite.ly into the Canon group of companies is our latest move to expand Canon’s digital services offering, by making mobile printing ubiquitous,” Alberto Spinelli, senior director of digital services at Canon Europe, said. “There is a fast-growing trend of consumers who want to shop for customized products and do it in an easy way from their mobile devices. The combination of Canon’s high-quality printing technologies and Kite.ly’s easy-to-use solutions will create an unrivaled portfolio of print products, accessible to customers everywhere through existing and new imaging apps.”
Kite.ly’s list of clients includes the website builders Shopify and Woocommerce, as well as working with Polaroid Print Store, Lenovo, Piccollage, Lifecake and Photobox apps. The company prints products from traditional prints to T-shirts.
According to the Kite.ly website, the print program will continue to operate independently, but with support from the camera manufacturer. Developers will continue to be able to add a ready-made print solution into their app. The latest acquisition joins Lifecake and Irista, which Canon says now works to create a complete imaging ecosystem moving from taking the photo to sharing and printing.
“We are inspired that Canon shares our vision to become the internet’s print button, embedded into any imaging app or website,” Kite.ly founder and CEO Charlie Carpenter said. “Kite.ly hosts hundreds of app clients around the world and together with Canon we will be able to enhance their service, to help them generate new revenue and engage with their users in a much more meaningful way.”