Until fairly recently, domestic printers were bulky and cumbersome devices that were hardly renowned for their portability. By contrast, the brand new LG Pocket Photo is small enough to slip into a coat pocket, resembling an external hard drive rather than a printer. Yet despite its understated appearance, this elegant silver box is capable of delivering stunning 3” by 2” hard copies of images taken on smartphones and mobile devices.
Rather than approaching it as a conventional printer, it’s perhaps better to think of LG’s Pocket Photo as a futuristic alternative to the instant camera. Pictures taken on portable devices can be sent wirelessly to the Pocket Photo via either Bluetooth or Near Field Communication, before being printed out using an ingenious inkless printing technique from a company called ZINK, whose name is an abbreviation of the words “zero ink”.
Until now, one of the main drawbacks of smartphone photography has been the difficulties involved in obtaining a hard copy. Printing pictures out on a home computer has required hardwire connections and data transfers, while in-store photo booths are increasingly being hampered by the lack of removable SD or data cards in many modern devices. By contrast, the Pocket Photo should work with any Android or iOS-powered equipment, once the proprietary app has been installed. Users can make basic modifications to their pictures or embed QR codes before sending them to print, while the Pocket Photo can even upload images directly onto social media platforms and websites.
Having debuted in Korea late last year, the LG Pocket Photo made its UK bow at the Gadget Show Live, and it is scheduled to go on sale here later this month. Pricing and availability will be confirmed closer to the launch date.