November 24, 2014 report
Kickstarter project SnapJet hardware device lets you print your smartphone pic as Polaroid
A team of creative types at a small company called Paradigm Optics, with help from a small group of engineers has together created a new way to print pictures taken with a smartphone—and perhaps the best thing about it is that it doesn't require any cables, Bluetooth or even an app on the phone. It's called the SnapJet and to use it, a person calls up a photo on their smartphone, lays the phone on top of the device and then presses a button to take a picture of the image on the phone, which is then printed on Polaroid (or Fujifilm's Instamax) film and pushed out of a slot on the device. This approach means it will work with any brand of phone. The combined team has created a project on Kickstarter looking for $155,000 to cover the production costs for the new device.
While it might seem that instant Polaroid pictures are a relic of the past, the SnapJet device suggests otherwise. Not only does it allow users to produce nearly instant prints of their smarphone pics, but as savvy pic takers from the past observed, they can be scrubbed under hot water to remove the backing material, allowing the pictures to become transparencies, or to be used to make faux stained-glass.
The SnapJet is small and thus portable, just a little longer and wider (and not much thicker) than the average smartphone, and serves as both scanner and printer. Inside the scanner part of the device is a bundle of microscopic optical fibers which serve to transfer the image, thus no lenses are needed. The team has made everything about the SnapJet open-source (including the design and schematics of the circuit board) in such detail that anyone could actually build one from scratch if they wished. The printer prints at a resolution of 1200 dpi, which means the sharpness and clarity will actually improve as phone-makers improve their screen resolutions. The battery inside is easily charged via a USB port.
Those willing to take a chance can get a SnapJet with a $99 investment. For those that want the leather case, the cost jumps to $175 and for those who want the SnapJet Delux (also with the case) the price jumps up to $299.
© 2014 Tech Xplore