A new prototype instant camera case promises to let you print photographs directly from your Android or Apple smartphone, and in just 30 seconds. Dubbed Prynt, the modular unit acts as both a phone case and printer, and boasts an all-in-one ink and paper refill pack that claims to make reloading on the go a breeze.

Inspired by the original Polaroid instant camera, the Prynt team wanted to recreate the experience of sharing physical photos like people did in previous generations – only this time using the smartphones as the brain. Given that these handsets are becoming our ubiquitous and constant companions, the Prynt creators thought it made the most sense to make a gizmo that attaches to the device that's already living in your pocket.

In this vein, the Prynt is designed to wrap around and encase your phone, so you don’t have to fiddle with connections or plugs: just point, shoot and print. The Prynt case also holds 10 sheets of photo paper, with drop-in refills priced at just US$5 per pack and available through the Prynt app.

Though still under development, the Prynt team hopes to have a companion app up by mid-year, along with a greater range of smartphone compatibility.

Designed to be modular, the Prynt is also aimed to adapt to different phones as the user upgrades, by simply swapping the front connecting units. This means that when you upgrade to a newer phone or move to a different brand or model, a whole new Prynt Case isn’t required; just a new adapter.

Currently, the Prynt only fits Apple’s iPhones 5, 5S, 5C and 6, along with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5.

The Prynt “augmented reality” feature could be a neat trick (or it could be a silly gimmick). When you take a photo using a Prynt-enhanced smartphone, the app also stores a short video to the cloud. Then, when a Prynt photo is scanned and recognized by the system’s app at a later time (on the same or another phone), it replays the video over the top of the photo image. The Prynt team think this will a fun way to embed additional information or surprises in shared photos.

Prynt is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to bring Prynt to market and allow for development of the system for a wider range of smartphones.

A Prynt Super Early Bird special is available from $49 (including refills) and available in pink, white or blue. The company hopes to start tooling up in March, conducting testing through May, June and July, and then – if all goes to plan – start shipping Early Bird units in August. With its $50,000 target already more than tripled, the Prynt system certainly looks in a good position to move towards those goals.

Source: Kickstarter.

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