Wireless printers and ink supplies that can be connected to mobile gadgets could be required by many homes in the future as smartphones and tablets begin to replace PCs.

Computing lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London Dr Mick Grierson predicted that the time of the desktop PC as a primary hub for a person's computing activity is already beginning to come to an end.

He observed the new generation of portable devices are far more convenient for home users, while the smaller size of devices such as iPads is another bonus.

"I don't think desktops are necessary for the type of things that people want to do – downloading music, watching films, sending emails, browsing the internet shopping – all that stuff," Dr Grierson continued.

The expert also predicted the rise of "ambient intelligence", where computers are integrated into a home in such a way they become an unnoticed part of a room.

It was also stated recently by TV presenter and tech journalist Lucy Hodges that tablets are set to be the most popular Christmas gift this year, which could mean more people are able to take advantage of wireless printers to produce photos and documents from anywhere.