Smartphones are great for capturing memories on the go everywhere and them sharing them with the rest of the planet, but the convenience of quick-draw and digital management still aren’t a substitute for the joy many people derive from having access to physical photographs. Prynt is a San Francisco-based startups trying to bridge the best of both worlds; the company offers the world’s first instant camera smartphone case for Android and iPhone devices–in other words, the smartphone case turns your smartphone into an instant camera.
The cross-generational concept just earned Prynt $7 million in Series A funding this past week, bringing their funding total, since launch in 2014, to just over $9 million (their Kickstarter campaign in March of 2015 raised over $1.5 million alone).
Users simply plug their phone into the case, snap a picture, and they’ll get a small physical photo printed in seconds. Immediately after taking a picture, users are able to edit them with the built-in photo editor. The accompanying app includes options to change the photo’s colors along with adding filters, frames, text, and even doodles–sort of Instagram-meets-Snapchat. The only major limitation is that the edits can only be made immediately after snapping the photo.
The ZINK system works by using ink embedded in the actual paper; that means that no ink cartridges are required from the end user. The ink prints dry to the touch and is protected by a polymer overcall for water resistance, tear resistance, and image durability.
More than a way to take stationary photos, Prynt also enables users to capture a short six second video that is automatically linked to the photo via the cloud. What this allows the user to do is, after a photo is printed, frame the printed pic in the screen of the app and have it “come to life”–the photo ‘plays’ as a video when looking at it through the app.
As far as compatibility goes, Prynt comes with adapters for the iPhone 5C/5/5S/6/6S and Samsung Galaxy S4/S5. While many smart devices today support Bluetooth connectivity, Prynt connects to phones via microUSB and Lightning. Perhaps a result of technical difficulties, or perhaps an angle at nostalgia. In a conversation with Wired, the founders mentioned, “We just wanted people to have the same experience as with old printing cameras—you take a picture…and it just prints.”
The device can be found on Amazon and other retailers for $149.99. Refills of the ZINK sticker paper sell for $19.99 for a pack of 40, and extra adapters sell for $19.99 each.
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