Polaroid cameras are cherished by photo nerds (and hipsters) everywhere, but the Polaroid of old is no more. What's replaced it? Smartphones and mobile sharing. Sure, there's a simple joy that comes from getting a print on the spot. But for most, the convenience of an always-in-your-pocket smartphone wins out.
But what if your smartphone could function as a Polaroid camera?
Well, there’s an app for that. Or rather, there will be—along with a phone case that houses an instant photo printer. It’s called the Prynt, and it’ll put your smartphone shots on paper in no time, just as soon as it emerges victorious from its Kickstarter funding campaign.
The Prynt is a modular case that can snap on to both iOS and Android phones thanks to its clever design. The phone mount is separate from the printer itself, which means you can keep the case if you change phones, paying only for a new mount module.
Once it's connected to your phone, you can click a button on the case to snap a photo and the case will print it out right away, using ZINK (Zero Ink) thermal printing tech. But the Prynt app will also include an "Augmented Reality" mode that records a short video clip as you pose for a shot and uploads it to the cloud.
Later on, you (or the person you give the print to) can use the Prynt app to scan the printed photo, and it'll download the video clip and play it back for you. It’s a clever way to embed messages or memories into the print, breathing new life into a traditionally static artifact.
Lastly, Prynt can also be used to print photos from Facebook and Instagram, much like Fujifilm's own Instax Mini instant film printer.
Prynt made a splash at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and is now in the thick of a successful Kickstarter campaign. The project won’t be funded until March, but the instant camera case has attracted plenty of backers—so many that it reached its $50,000 goal in just 33 minutes. As of this writing, more than 2,100 backers have contributed over $260,000 in funding.
If you want to join that growing horde, you can pledge $99 or more to receive a Prynt case and a pack of 10 sheets of paper when they start shipping in October 2015. Want more paper? You can contribute an extra $25 for 50 more sheets. If you're not an early backer, Prynt is projected to retail for the general public beginning during the 2015 holiday season, with the target price set between $130 and $150.
At launch, Prynt will be available with mount modules for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5. If they prove successful, it seems likely you can expect modules for other popular phones to follow.