Instagram is terrific for taking pictures with a hazy, saturated look of old snapshots and sharing them with your social network. But printing them out and preserving them for posterity is more of an ordeal. Who has time and patience to switch on the printer and load it with photo paper? Instaprint, a kind of modern-day Polaroid, streamlines the process by connecting wirelessly to your phone and spitting copies of your favorite Instagram shots.
The device is the invention of Breakfast, a Brooklyn-based company that is hoping to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to start production. Prototypes have already been rolled out at events such as store openings, product launches, and at the Grammys and Lady Gaga shows. “Going from prototype to consumer product is a massive step,” Breakfast writes on its Kickstarter page. “Some things are sure to change as we get into the thick of it, but that means things will only get better.” The group expects half of the funds ($260,000) to go toward parts and fabrication costs, $175,000 to cover development expenses, and the remainder to satisfy Amazon and Kickstarter fees.
Here’s how Instaprint works: The gadget can be set to look out for specific locations or hashtags, and any Instagram tagged appropriately will automatically be printed. For higher volume printing, multiple machines can be daisy chained to share power and connectivity. Breakfast offers a multi-box setup with one Instaprint that has a controller and Wi-Fi module, which then drives the other controller-less Instaprints. And rather than using with ink cartridges that need frequent replacement, Instaprint employs an inkless technology whereby all color is pulled right from the paper itself. All the images will be managed on an online gallery site, Instaprint.me, which will showcase all the Instagrams printed at each event and give guests an opportunity to browse the evidence of their drunken antics.
To back the project, go here. $399 gets you your very own Instaprint, complete with a controller, coiled power cable, and 20 sheets of inkless paper (Breakfast expects replacement paper to cost $12 for 30 sheets). Units are scheduled to ship in September.