Interview: Robert Macauley, mind behind LifePrint printer for mobile devices
How about printing photos from your smartphone instantly, as and when you click them? The ability to get a quality photo print of your most cherished memory captured in the frame of time? Well, if all goes well for LifePrint WiFi photo printer for Android/iPhone & Instagram on Kickstarter, then this fact could be a normal happening for users worldwide. The ability of LifePrint to connect via Bluetooth extends the possibilities even further as it prints photos to your friend’s LifePrint printer anywhere in the world. All you have to do is send photos directly to LifePrint printer and it is all done.
This portable printer is no bigger than an iPad and prints 4×3 photos instantly anywhere in the world. The best thing about LifePrint is its ability to make your loved ones day with a photo that they would cherish for a long time. If the printer achieves its funding goal on Kickstarter it will sell for an estimated price of $200 and on one charge it will print 30 photos which would cost around $0.70.
So, who actually is the mind behind LifePrint printer for smartphones? Robert Macauley is the mind behind this simple yet very well materialized idea. And we got the chance to get inquisitive with Robert who sternly believes that physical photographs are much more impressive than digital photos, and we definitely agree with him. Here is how the interview went and we were privileged to get Robert to answer our queries.
DamnGeeky: Tell us something about yourself and your team. How did your journey with the LifePrint begin?
Robert Macauley: It all began with a broken Polaroid camera and the purchase of my first iPhone. After my Polaroid broke, I started taking all of my photos on my iPhone. I missed ‘real’ photos within a month. But Polaroid film was getting too expensive and it was inconvenient to carry around another camera. So I searched for photo printers online that had the functionality I wanted, it didn’t exist, so I got a team together and built it myself.
DamnGeeky: What is the inspiration behind developing a portable printer?
Robert Macauley: Real photos are just better than digital ones. Period. Though it’s hard to really explain why. The tangible feel is just more meaningful, the scarcity is more valuable. There’s something about holding that moment in your hand that just can’t be replicated by a digital screen.
DamnGeeky: How did your work experience at Belkin help in design and development of LifePrint?
Robert Macauley: It taught me how to focus on the features people actually care about in a product and forget about the rest.
DamnGeeky: The best part of LifePrint is an App offering photo editing on the fly and wireless connectivity. Any comment?
Robert Macauley: That’s the second best part about LifePrint. The best part about LifePrint is being able to instantly print and share photos all over the world. This means you can share photos with your friends and family while you’re on vacation or separated by great distance. Think of it like a free, instant postcard from anywhere.
DamnGeeky: You say printing 30 photos are expected to cost around $20. Isn’t it a little pricey?
Robert Macauley: Not for “No Ink” film. Most printers use ink cartridges. We do not. Ink cartridges are also really expensive (as we all know), and Polaroid photos were over $1 a photo when my old camera broke, and even more expensive today. Having no ink means we can make the printer really small and portable and the ink never runs dry. We’re also working on subscription model and other strategies that will help get this cost down.
DamnGeeky: What about the printing lifecycle? How many prints can one cycle handle?
Robert Macauley: The film comes in packs of 10 and the battery can print 30 photos before running low on batteries.
DamnGeeky: What is your favorite pastime activity when not working?
Robert Macauley: It’s a rare treat these days, but it’s gotta be video games. I’m still mesmerized by Last of Us.
Well, that is how the interview went and we thank Robert Macauley for taking out time to be a part of this interview. We wish him luck for achieving the $200,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, and most of all to get this amazing idea to life. In-fact, LifePrint is aptly named as it prints our special moments of life in physical photographs that will be adored for rest of our lives.