Portable printers, wireless printers, and smartphone-connected printers aren't anything new, but LifePrint is looking to bring something new to the market. It's seeking Kickstarter funding for its portable, wireless, instant, and socially networked printer that'll be both iOS- and Android-compatible.
We get the portable, wireless, and instant bits; but what do they mean by social? It means that LifePrint isn't just a printer, but there's an app, too. This will allow you to follow your family and friends and be followed by them in turn, wherever you all are in the world. Anyone you follow can send an image to your printer that you can choose to print, or not. Likewise, you can send your images to your followers' printers, if you're so inclined. Grandmother in Italy should be able to print images of grandchildren in the UK without a hitch. Not that you have to acquire followers if you don't want to; you can remain an undiscoverable recluse if you prefer.
Provided that you have a connection to the Internet, it doesn't matter where in the world your phone is and your printer is. They can be thousands of miles apart, but once you click 'Print' your image should be ready in about 60 seconds.
You can print any photo on your camera roll, and use the LifePrint app's editing tools before you print if you want. It's got the usual filters and borders, as well as speech bubbles and picture-stitching. Once you've printed, you can share your photo to the social media of your choice from the app, too.
All of this is, however, a long way off. LifePrint needs to raise $200,000 before 25 April 2014 to reach its Kickstarter goal, with Earlybird rewards starting at $99. If and when it reaches its funding, the projected shipping dates for printer units is January 2015 for iOS and mid-April 2015 for Android-compatible devices.
Will it make it? Well, according to Kicktraq, if pledges continue at the current rate, it'll get there.
And then the hard work for the LifePrint team really will begin. They have an app to develop and hardware to finalise, manufacture, and ship. If you like what you see, you know what to do over on Kickstarter.