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A portable photo printer

Photo printer

This post was originally published in the Southwest Journal, a Southwest Minneapolis community newspaper.

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I got to try out a great gift idea from my friends at Verizon, the Lifeprint 2×3 Photo and Video Printer, a photo and video printer that prints on special thermal paper without ink.

How do you print videos with a printer, you ask? Well, by using the free app for both Android and iOS (Apple), one can see an augmented reality video by viewing the photo through the app. Lifeprint calls this Hyperphoto.

So if you wanted to send grandma a photo of yourself, but really wanted her to see a video, you would record the video and let the app do the rest by embedding it in the photo with a small code on the corner. It will print out as a photo, but will be viewable through the app as a video when you hold the app camera over the picture and let it read the code printed on the corner.

I would like to point out that you don’t need the printer to download the app. Only one person needs the printer for embedding the videos in photos, and then any person can view the augmented reality video by using the app to view it through.

Lifeprint with Phone

These are small, portable pictures. The pictures themselves print out at 2 inches by 3 inches and are cute, but understandably not the best possible prints available. However, for their size and purpose, they are great.

The photos also have a peel apart backing so that they can be stuck up anywhere. The photos take about half a minute to print.

When you go to print, the app offers to “Print and Share,” and this allows you to share the photo with any friends you are connected to on the Lifeprint network. They can then see your photo without having to wait for you to print it and send it to them.

The printer itself connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth (again, both Android and iPhone) so there is nothing to physically connect. The wireless printer itself is about the size of a large deck of playing cards, making it very portable.

Lifeprint

By logging into your various social media accounts including Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and more, the app pulls in all of your pictures to make it easy to print them out or pull in from your camera’s own photos and videos.

It took me a few minutes to realize that I had the printer upside down, but that is about the total time it took to set up. Once the app is downloaded and the printer is paired to your smartphone via Blutooth, you are ready to go.

The printer charges via the included micro-USB charging cable. It does not come with a power adapter, but you can easily use the power adapter that came with your phone or plug the USB into a computer to charge. It also says it will hold a charge long enough to print 20–30 photos on a complete charge.

There are a limited number of devices that the company says it is optimized for. You should check here before purchasing: lifeprintphotos.com/pages/compatibility.

It runs $129.99. This would be a fun gift to give to someone that likes physical photos, sticky photos and the ability to share video in unique way.

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Paul Burnstein is a tech handyman. As the founder of Gadget Guy MN, Paul helps personal and business clients optimize their use of technology. He can be found through gadgetguymn.com or via email at paul@gadgetguymn.com.

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