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Instaprint: Photography Old-School…Well, Sorta

Big Ideas cost big money. For disc-based video games, for example, costs can be upwards of over $20 million. In order to finance the production,…

Big Ideas cost big money. For disc-based video games, for example, costs can be upwards of over $20 million. In order to finance the production, promotion, and distribution of these massive undertakings, companies have to rely on external sources like publishers, investment firms, or loans. While each of these players are imperative to the process, their involvement also means that their opinions and demands must be taken into account, something that can become an obstacle in the path of the creators. Lately however, other options have come to the rescue.

Sources like Kickstarter or Profounder, which garner the support of the public (along with their donations) have played an important role in the birth of many projects. They democratize the process by allowing consumers to support the games they want to see developed and give the developers the freedom to experiment, take risks, and design without anyone else compromising their vision.  It's the kind of creative luxury that most major, established studios simply can't afford. At least, not until now.

There are two main advantages to scaling projects down to bite-sizes pieces, the way these sites do. First, developers get to focus on what they want and promote it exactly how they saw it in their heads. This could go very wrong of course, but let’s just assume they know what they’re doing. Second, since people donate voluntarily, the developers answer only to themselves and thus give themselves the opportunity to show the public how well they can do what they do; an honest insight into that blood, sweat, tears, and finally victory that goes into creating a modern art form.

This is the first of a series Fueled is doing to get the word out about how sites like Kickstarter can help you.

Instaprint

There is something indescribably special about holding a photograph in your hands. It’s like holding a real book - I want to be able to actually turn a page the way it was meant to be turned. In the same way, I need photographs that can be pinned to corkboards, torn, taped back together, and touched without that touch bringing up a series of options on the touchscreen camera. Technology can be very exhausting.

Perhaps there are many others like me however, because the folks at Brooklyn-based Breakfast have created Instaprint, a location-specific photo stall or booth that houses a mini Linux computer. For those of you who have the Instagram app, you may know how it tries to bring a little bit of nostalgia to mobile phone photographs by offering different filters and image add-ons. And even more, it mixes in modern sharing (something we can no longer live without, apparently) by letting users post their photos on the app's sharing board for others to see.

Instaprint offers users tactile version of those sierra-toned photos. It uses a Wi-Fi connection to link to devices that have the Instagram app and prints out Polaroid-like photos. Instead of ink, it relies on a special paper that uses light exposure to reveal colors in different layers, thereby producing an image. When a user specifies a tag or location, any photo that includes that data will be printed out, as well as comments from the app's sharing board. The project is hoping to raise $500,000 by April 29, and anybody who donates $399 or more to the project on the Instaprint Kickstarter page will receive a kit of their own!

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