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The pocket-sized printer ‘bringing photos to life'

The wizarding world of Harry Potter, a pocket-sized inkless printer and augmented reality brings printed images ‘to life’.

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The printer was originally inspired by the Harry Potter films

Fans of the Harry Potter franchise will be familiar with J.K Rowling’s concept of moving images that appear in enchanted printed products throughout the books and more recently, the films. A Los Angeles company has partnered with Warner Bros Pictures to create a printer that allows users to create and print an image with a secret video embedded in it.

When the printed image is held in front of a smartphone camera using the app’s Hyperphoto AR mode, the attached animated content can be seen playing out on the print

Using zero ink film (ZINK), the images are printed instantly on to 2 x 3” self-adhesive paper. Heat is applied to the paper instead of ink to develop the image. Using the LifePrint app, any image can be ‘brought to life’ by attaching a video, animated GIF, Apple Live photo or Snapchat filter. When the printed image is held in front of a smartphone camera using the app’s Hyperphoto AR mode, the attached animated content can be seen playing out on the print.

LifePrint explains the concept: “For years, printed photos have been thought of as “moments frozen in time”. While we haven’t invented a time machine for you to go back and revisit your favourite memories (not yet, at least), we’ve created the next best thing: a user-friendly, Augmented Reality photo printer that makes printed photos come to life before your eyes.”

The new partnership with the studios that produced the Harry Potter films marks the firm’s initial inspiration for the product, drawing on the franchise’s magical moving portraits. The themed version of this printer allows users to add character-related filters to the images and share them via the app, through which fans can also remotely print their photos anywhere in the world. 

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