[Update on April 18, 2014: There are six days left to the Kickstarter campaign, and the LifePrint is still shy of its target goal. But the company announced that it is partnering with ZINK Imaging to bring the device to market. The firm responsible for “Zero Ink” printing technology will lend its ZINK Paper to the LifePrint portable printer. If LifePrint reaches its funding goal, its smartphone compatible printer will come to market with the support of ZINK Imaging.]
While it’s perfectly fine to print your pictures at home or at a photo center, what if you want to print a picture somewhere in between? You’re not near either of those places, so that picture-printing urge usually has to sit in the back burner. LifePrint, however, wants to make sure you can print your pictures regardless of where you are, with a small nondescript printer and, hopefully, $200,000 in Kickstarter funding.
LifePrint, specifically meant for photo printing from your smartphone, separates itself from the competition (Polaroid and Fujifilm being the biggies) in how you’re able to print. Through the LifePrint app, you can print pictures either on a WiFi network or on a cellular data network. In addition, you can print pictures from a LifePrint device that could be thousands of miles away, so long as you and someone else follow each other on the LifePrint app. Don’t care for a particular photo? You can reject to print that cat picture your grandma keeps sending you.
Speaking of following, LifePrint isn’t just the printer and the app, but also a social network where you can follow people. Interestingly, instead of a “like” option for pictures, you can just print them out. You can also choose to share pictures through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, with those pictures having the #LifePrinted attached to them. You can, of course, choose not to do any of that and remain off the grid, for the privacy-focused among us.
Through the app, you can also edit your pictures, with options such as color filters, picture stitching, adding talk bubbles and other text, and border selection. Pictures won’t be huge by any means, with the “film” size at 3 x 4, capped at 10 prints. If you want to buy more prints, LifePrint hopes to have film available through retailers and its website once the Kickstarter campaign is finished.
As for the Kickstarter campaign, its goal is to reach $200,000. With roughly $57,000 pledged at the time of this writing and 34 days to go, LifePrint still has some ways to go to becoming funded. Based on the pledges, the Android version of LifePrint will be available in April 2015, while the iOS version will be available earlier, in January 2015.
As for compatibility, iPhones from the iPhone 4 onward and 3rd-generation iPads or higher should be just fine. On the Android side, the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, and S5, along with the HTC One, Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 2 and 3, and “future Android devices” are supported. If you want in, pledging $99 will net you the LifePrint for either Android or iOS.
(This story was originally published on March 21, 2014)