Mac Funamizu is a freelance designer. He has a blog where he posts concept designs and some pretty cool wallpapers. TUAW reported on his latest project this morning and I must say, it’s very interesting.

Remember those Polaroid cameras that printed out a photo right after you snapped it? Sure the picture came out white and you had to fan it for a bit, but essentially you had a photograph almost immediately…

That seems to be what inspired Funamizu’s Sophi concept. The dock/case connects to the iPhone via the charging port, and houses a color printer. Photos can be printed along with geo-location data, as well as a QR code that links to a 3rd party website like Flickr.

It’s kind of surprising that a product like this isn’t already on the market. I remember seeing a receipt printer years ago, that you could pair with PDAs and it hung from your belt. Maybe in this age of DropBox and AirPrint, there just hasn’t been a demand for portable printers. You’d think a company like Square would be interested in something like this though. Imagine an all-in-one iPhone case with a card reader and a receipt printer.

Since this is just a concept design, I wouldn’t expect to see this product at the local BestBuy anytime soon. There is a lot involved in taking a concept from a drawing to consumer shelves. I do think this is pretty clever though, and would be fairly popular if it ever found its way to market.

What do you think?

  • Jeff

    Seems like it would add a lot of bulk to the phone in order to have an area to store the paper and a mechanism to feed the paper into the printer. I would rather see a standalone printer that you could pair up with rather than something you would actually mount your phone in.

    • Rosie

      Wouldn’t the PoGo work? It must be bt or wifi based, surely? Tho, not uber tiny & prob slooooow to print… Second thoughts, scratch that – I’d be far more likely to look for a digital solution… If thy want paper let them invoke the ancient power of the ATM mini-statement! Lol.

  • Like, they should use one of those crowdsourcing services.

  • Lori

    I think that this idea would be a great / wonderfull option to have on my I-Phone. I constantly print various things from my I-Phone, to my home printer & it’s quite a hassel, I’d much rather have a printer attached to my phone that can instantly print something & have it right in my hand, instead of having to walk all the way through my house to retreive my printed documents.. Also the application of being able to instantly print photographs & have them right afterwards in my hands, isba great feature…. Plus, I currently only print things from my I-Phone I have to be at home, this feature would allow me to be able to print anything, wherever I happen to be.
    Sign me up, as I’ll be first in line to purchase this, the moment it is available in retail stores

    • Lando

      All the way through your house? Christ how lazy are you?

  • Definitely a cool idea. Would probably get one if price is right.

  • Ben

    FYI, Pogo can do this with iBlueNova. If you upgraded to 4.x though…forget about it. Waiting for Celeste to get Pogo compatibility (not to mention 4.3 compatibility) is like waiting for the next unlock…

  • Meg

    That is a really cool idea! However, I agree that actually having it available to the general public could take a long time!

  • dabe

    Someone told me they had a device like this, but not iPhone compatible. It’s a cool idea but honestly I’d rather just use my Fuji instax ( basically Polaroid). I think the printer quality would horrible. I’d much rather have real film than prints from a tiny printer.

  • It’s a knockoff of the gameboy printer!!!!