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Photo Printing Case Makes Every Day Throwback Thursday


For those who wax nostalgic for the days of instant photo prints from a classic Polaroid camera, there's finally going to be a smartphone version. The Prynt Case turns your iPhone or Android device into an instant camera and printer, and it can be yours for a minimum $99 contribution on the project's Kickstarter campaign.

But the instant photo isn't even the coolest feature of the Prynt case; its augmented reality abilities take the cake. As you pose for a photo, a short video is recorded and stored in the cloud. If you then hold your phone over the printed version, the app scans and recognizes the photo's code (similar to a QR code) immediately, then shows the video within the app in augmented reality. 

You can also print stills from your videos, or pull up friends' videos by scanning their printouts.

The Prynt Case has a rectangular shape with a pushed-out, synthetic-leather grip, designed to feel like a slimmed-down DSLR with a smooth front. Once you slide your phone into the case's molded back area, it connects to a USB or Lightning connector that sits in a detachable dock piece housed in the grip.

Schematics include a micro-USB charging port that sits on the bottom, a paper hatch that is hidden when a smartphone is attached and a shutter button on top of the grip. The Prynt Case is modular, so if you upgrade or change your phone, all you have to do is buy a dock piece with the appropriate adapter and swap it with your current one. The case comes in pink, blue, white and black, and works with the iPhone 5C/5/5S as well as the Galaxy S4 and S5.

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You would think a setup like this would be on the hefty side, but it weighs just 7.84 ounces without a phone, and measures in at a sleek 5.04 x 1.18 x 3.15 inches. Images are printed on Polaroid's compact, 2 x 3-inch ZINK papers.

The free Prynt app for iOS and Android will be available in the summer. Aside from taking pictures, the app can print photos from your camera roll, Facebook or Instagram accounts, complete with built-in frames and filters.

The company's Kickstarter claims that a full charge takes 90 minutes, and that the battery on the case should last for up to 20 prints. Each print should take 30 seconds. The case can hold 10 photo-paper sheets at a time, with 10-sheet refill packs available for purchase within the app for $5.

The closest competitor to the Prynt Case is the Instax Mini 8 from Fujifilm, which also offers instant photos and a shutter button, and sells for a similar price point. There are many differences between the two devices, however — the biggest one being that the Instax Mini 8 is a standalone camera. The Mini 8 uses credit-card-size Fujifilm Instant Color Film, supplies its own flash/focus, is heavier and uses two AA batteries. The Prynt Case uses ZINK paper, has a rechargeable battery, and all of its functions apart from the shutter and printing reside in the smartphone.

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Prynt’s Kickstarter campaign ends on March 2. Bids range from $1 to $4,999, with a minimum of $99 getting you a Prynt case. The campaign has raised more than $1,120,000 from 6,800-plus backers, soaring past the original goal of $50,000. Early-bird shipping starts in August, and all other shipping starts in October.