Imagine pointing your smartphone’s camera, taking a snapshot and being able to immediately bring the image to life! That’s exactly the “magic” that takes place when using Prynt Pocket, a small mobile printer that connects to smartphones.
Prynt is a startup company co-founded in Paris in 2014 by former IT engineers Clément Perrot and David Zhang. The company has since relocated to San Francisco, where they employ a staff of twenty. As with the highly successful new Augmented Reality toy and video game combination Swapbots, Prynt was launched through Kickstarter, the global crowdfunding platform for creative endeavors and innovative new products. With an original goal of $50,000, Prynt had raised over $1.5 million by the end of the campaign, and to date has received more than $9.2 million in investor funding.
Although mobile printers have been around for a while, Prynt Pocket is the world’s first mobile printer and phone case combination. Prynt differs from other ZINK paper-based mobile printers such as Polaroid’s Zip Instant Printer or Polaroid Snap in that the images produced aren’t static, but rather appear to spring to life through Augmented Reality technology.
Here’s how Prynt Pocket works. Attach the phone adapter to the dock on the Prynt case, load the adhesive-backed ZINK paper into the tray on the back of the adapter and you’re ready to take snapshots that come to life. Pick any subject, press either the physical shutter button on the case or the on-screen shutter button icon to take the picture, and the Prynt app will automatically capture and record a five-second video associated with the image. Before printing the photo, it can, if needed, be color enhanced, filtered or text can be added using the built-in photo editor. Edits, however, must be completed before printing – once the image has been saved, editing is no longer possible.
Next, hit the Prynt Logo button, and in less than a minute, the snapshot’s image is printed on 2” x 3” peel-off, sticker-backed paper. Now comes the fun part. Using the app’s built-in scanner, point the smartphone’s camera at the print, and the image “magically” comes to life with the five-second video overlay, much like the animated pictures in the Harry Potter films. You won’t see Muggles, Goblins or Trolls, but you will see a still picture of that wedding reception, anniversary party or any special occasion suddenly come to life through AR’s almost magical technology. The Prynt photos themselves are saved within the app, and the embedded video clips are stored within a private Cloud account.
Prynt Pocket is compatible with most, but not all Apple iPhones although additional versions will be available in the future. The only Android device currently supported is Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Priced at $149, Prynt Pocket is available in a variety of colors, and comes with a 10- sheet starter pack of ZINK paper. Paper refills priced around $20 for a pack of 40 can be ordered either directly through the Prynt app or purchased online from Amazon or other retailers.
In short, Prynt Pack is fast, easy to use and lots of fun. Look for more companies to introduce new Augmented Reality photo enhancers in the coming months.