Prynt has been described as Polaroid for the Snapchat Generation. Its a cutting-edge exercise in merging the digital with the analogue, the future with the past. It demolishes the boundaries between the online world and the real world, between photos and video. Its a phone case that prints photos.
What Is Prynt?
Prynt is the worlds first smartphone case with a built in photo printer- like a polaroid camera and a phone case combined into one. With retro styling, multiple colour choices, cross platform compatibility and the ability to churn out quick prints of festival selfies or instagram pics of your vegan brunch on the fly, its no wonder Prynt was able to crowdfund over $1 million USD on kickstarter from over nine thousand eager backers.
Prynt isnt limited by the dated paradigms of the antiquated instant cameras of yesteryear, however- when Prynt users pose for a shot with their friends, Prynt will record a six second video of the moment and store it in their cloud service. When the picture is viewed through the phone camera, on screen, the Prynt app will read it much like a QR code and play the video back to you right there on the physical picture itself via augmented reality- making all of your Harry Potter animated photograph dreams come true.
Who are Prynt?
The mastermind behind the Prynt revolution is Clément Perrot. Just 25 years old, Clément founded Prynt in Paris, France, with David Zhang in 2014, and after a very successful soft launch at a tech demo Prynt took their product to the same place every other tech startup with a quirky premise aimed at millennials takes them- Kickstarter.
Prynt launched their Kickstarter campaign on the 27th of January, 2015, describing the Prynt platform as The first instant camera case for iPhone and Android. The campaign exploded into the zeitgeist of the internet, and their story was almost immediately picked up by huge tech industry players such as Forbes, Engadget, CNN and more. Prynt offered multiple campaign support options, ranging from $25 USD for a Prynt T-shirt and not much else, to $99 USD for the first wave of the print classic, all the way to $999 USD for ten Prynt cases and an assortment of Prynt photo paper (necessary for printing the Prynts), a scrapbook, and more.
Prynts Kickstarter campaign was a knockout success, reaching a massive $1,576,011 USD by March 2015, just over two months after launch. A total of just over nine thousand backers contributed to acheive the 1.5 million dollar result, making Prynt the 31st Kickstarter campaign in history to reach over a million dollars in pledges, and the most successful French Kickstarter project ever.
Prynts production line went live in Q4 2015 and began shipping units in December of the same year, and Prynt is now offering the Prynt case for sale on their website directly at $149 USD for the printer, phone adapter, and 10 pieces of photo paper.
How does Prynt Work?
The Prynt case is incredibly easy to use. Its compatible with a wide range of both Android and iOS devices. Currently there are adaptors for iPhone models including the 6s, 6, 5s, 5c, 5, and adaptors for the Samsung S5 and S4. The case connects directly to your device of choice using either the MicroUSB or Lightning port- the Prynt team experimented previously with bluetooth connection but found the connection process unnecessarily complex. Once your device is connected to the Prynt case and youve got the app open, Prynt is as easy as finding a subject you decide is worthy of pointing your phone camera at. Prynt offers all of the regular instagram-style filters for your chosen snap, in addition to a plethora of other meme-ify and sticker options.
After youve captured your desired scene and no doubt chosen a sufficiently retro and hipster filter to really make your latte-art pop, Prynt will take a six second video and store it in the cloud, linking it to the image via some very impressive image recognition software that allows the physical printed picture itself to act somewhat like a QR code.
The pictures that the Prynt case creates are printed on to Zink photo strips- a heat based printing technology that doesnt require bulky heat reservoirs to create an image. Once youve printed your image, anybody else with the Prynt app will be able to view the associated video by viewing the printed image with their Prynt app, but users have the option of changing the privacy settings on an image so that only select people of their choosing may view it. The augmented reality aspect of print wasnt originally included in Prynts first Kickstarter pitch, but was introduced later in the process of development and is now one of the key drawcards to the product
Prynt has stated that theyre also planning on rolling out a new suite of content that can be attached to Prynt images as well, such as music, GPS coordinates, or even contact information, opening up new applications for Prynt such as augmented reality business cards.
How much does Prynt Cost?
The Prynt Case is currently priced at $149.99, and comes in either white, blue or black. Prynt ZINK paper begins at $19.99 for 40 sheets, but Prynt has recently introduced a monthly subscription option, giving users 20 sheets a month for around $7.99, with the first month free. Prynt is also now offering Prynt photo frames in multiple colors for $4.99 for a pack of 10, complete with clothespegs and twine so you can string your happy snaps across your room with ease.
Ultimately Prynt offers several strong points of difference to consumers in a world surfeit with transactional, characterless photos posted on social media one moment and forgotten the next. Prynt allows users to access the nostalgia and novelty of a physical, in the hand copy of an image with instant gratification, combined with the social media ego thrill of the selfie age. Overall, Prynt is fun.