As their cameras get ever better, smartphones have become the go-to device that many people use to take photos. But although they generate photos that can look amazing, there is no on-the-go way to get a physical photo to post on a refrigerator or a wall, or to give to grandparents who don’t use devices that would allow them to receive the image digitally.
Prynt is a camera case for iPhones and Android smartphones that enables the user to instantly print out any photo that is taken with the device. The San Francisco- and Paris-based team of developers is using the same ZINK Zero Ink printing technology that’s been used in products like Polaroid’s instant mobile printers. The special paper that’s used has ink embedded inside, eliminating the need for any ink cartridges that need to be replaced.
Prynt’s makers have also added a neat additional feature involving augmented reality. When a photo is being taken, the Android and iOS app records a short video and stores it in the cloud. Then, when a user holds the phone over the printed image, the app will automatically scan and recognize it, showing that video on screen in augmented reality.
Backers who pledge $99 will get a Prynt case when it ships in August. That’s less than the $130-$150 that its makers expect to charge at retail. Its makers have set a goal of raising $50,000 in funding.
Prynt holds great promise—adding instant printing capability to a smartphone is a great idea. Other devices have tried to do the same thing, such as Snapjet, which users dock their smartphones on to print an image using analog instant film. Designing Prynt as a lightweight case makes it more portable, and makes the process of taking a photo and printing it out instantly very much like using an old Polaroid instant camera. Using ZINK paper also seems to be a superior alternative to using analog film. Prynt’s augmented reality feature adds even more value to the product. One drawback is that it is only compatible with select iPhones and Android phones, but its makers are trying to add compatibility for more smartphone models, according to the Kickstarter campaign video.