Sharing memories with family and friends is easier than ever nowadays, with photo-sharing apps such as Instagram. Still, I love Polaroid cameras and photo booths, as they give me an instant keepsake that I can use to decorate my fridge, cube, or home, and remind me of good times. So wouldn't it be grand if there were a way to bring that functionality to Instagram?
Well, now there is, thanks to a Brooklyn-based company called Breakfast.
The New York startup, which says it "specializes in creating digital experiences that utilize custom robotics and devices to bridge the gap between online and the real world," has come up with a mobile photo booth that's sure to be a hit at your next party or event. Powered by a mini Linux computer, Instaprint connects to your mobile device via Wi-Fi and prints your Instagram photos Polaroid-style. It does so by looking for pictures with a user-specified hash tag or location, and then prints them out, with comments and all.
Here's another cool thing. You won't have to deal with the hassle and expense of replacing ink cartridges because Instaprint uses inkless technology. Instead, all the color is pulled from the special photo paper.
The team at Breakfast first came up with the idea for Instaprint in spring 2011 and created a prototype within two weeks. Since then, the group has been working on refining the design and improving its features. Instaprint has even made appearances at special events, including the Grammy Awards and Lady Gaga concerts, but the company is looking to bring the experience to a larger audience.
Breakfast is looking to raise funds through Kickstarter to send the product into mass production. It needs to raise $500,000 by April 29 to do so, and at the time of this writing, the company had about $50,000 and 203 backers. A pledge of at least $5 gets you an Instaprint photo in the mail, while a donation of at least $399 gets you a DIY kit, so you can build one of your own.
If you want to check the goods before making a commitment, Breakfast actually has a live stream of two Instaprint machines in action. You can send your own Instagram photos to the machines by using the hashtag #instaprint, and watch it print live.