Printers can be a bit of a necessary evil. We may dream big about a paperless office, but there always seems to remain some need to keep a printer around, when only a hard copy will do. Do we need to approach photo sharing in the same way, and augment sharing new pics to our Facebook wall or Instagram account with a physical copy? LG seems to think so, introducing its new Pocket Photo smartphone printer.
The Pocket Photo uses technology from ZINK, which means you’ll need special paper (about $5 for 10 sheets), but no separate ink cartridge; the ink is all built into the paper, similar in practice to how a Polaroid works. LG’s software is set to apply Instagram-style filters of its own, and communicates with the printer over Bluetooth and NFC.
The big downside of the Pocket Photo seems to be how decidedly un-pocket-friendly it is; the printer measures 7.2 X 12.1 X 2.4 centimeters, or just about an inch thick. It also costs about $170, making it pretty pricey for an accessory.
The real question is if we even need something like the Pocket Photo. Do you often find yourself in situations where you just can’t easily email someone a link to a photo, and stopping to wait while a hard copy prints out would be the most convenient alternative? Or is this just a solution in search of a problem that barely exists in the first place?