Smartphones have revolutionized how we take and share pictures. I still remember my Dad carefully constructing a photograph, manually adjusting the focus and once it was taken, manually winding the film on. Once that roll was finished, we would send the film away for processing and after a couple of weeks, it would return and we could finally look at the results. These days, many of us take photographs on smartphones and are able to view the results immediately. We're also able to share with friends, family and complete strangers via a huge number of ways to show off our work via any number of social networks and photograph sharing services. Smartphone owners are taking and sharing millions of pictures every day.
There's a new company on the scene called Prynt, which we originally covered back in November. Prynt are aiming to change, again, how we take and share photographs from our smartphones. Prynt are working on a hybrid case for our smartphones that is also a printer. It allows us to take and print images similar to old-school Polaroids, using paper that contains the ink (so we don't have to top this up).
Indeed, the Prynt module is designed to be entirely self contained. It has its own rechargeable battery and ink, plus it doesn't need WiFi of Bluetooth radios to print pictures. The module is currently available with a number of iPhone modules plus the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5. It will allow you to print pictures you've taken plus those from a number of social networks, including Facebook and Instagram. Plus the application also includes some bonus features, including the ability to store video from around the time you take the picture. Point the device camera towards a printed photograph and you can watch the short clip, which is stored online.
Prynt is a kickstarter project and you'll need to promise $99 in order to get your own case camera module, which should arrive by August (perhaps a little late for most of the summer holiday season 2015) if you're one of the early subscribers (or October if you are not). Prynt are also working on building in support for other smartphones and since the case camera module uses a replaceable adapter for the USB port, this shouldn't be too difficult – however if you are planning on upgrading your device in the coming few months, you might want to hold off that Prynt unit just yet.
The Prynt is an interesting idea but I'm not so sure that it is set to revolutionise the industry just yet as the unit is a little bit too bulky for many people. However, as an idea, I'm quite sure that there's mileage in this one. Nokia tried a similar form factor with the camera grip case for the Lumia 1020 and this sold reasonably well (in the context of the Lumia 1020). The Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 have around two thirds of the developed world smartphone market between them so clearly Prynt have a market to capture here. Still, what do our readers think? Could you see yourself packing a Prynt module when you go away on your holidays, or it is something you'd take with you on those social gatherings? I am waiting for the first printed picture to be handed to be at a restaurant…