To connect to a computer printer, you usually need to install the supplied driver set. Sometimes these drivers are be downloaded from Internet, and sometimes they are installed as a part of software pack, most of which will never be demanded. Ideally, the printer, as well as any other connected devices, should be working without any additional moves.
Apple seems to shares this position completely, as evidenced by a number of registered patents. The first patent describes an extremely simple idea: the printer has a built-in small volume storage that contains all of the drivers. When you connect the printer they automatically downloaded and installed to your computer. The idea of the second patent maybe familiar to Google users, we are talking about cloud print. The computer sends data that you want to print to cloud, the Web server converts them into a format that the printer understands, then the actual document is printed.
The third patent deals with printers, which receive data of strictly defined formats. If the user wishes to print the type of document that a given printer “understands” (e.g., DOC), then installation of the driver is not required. If the user wishes to go beyond this format, installation of a specific software is required. As always in case of patents, no reports of when these technologies will be implemented in commercial products, and whether they will be implemented at all.