By KOICHI MURAKAMI/ Staff Writer
July 31, 2022 at 07:10 JST
Fujifilm Corp.’s new Instax Mini Link 2 portable printer allows users to add decorations to smartphone photos using augmented reality (AR) technology.
The subject of the photo can draw text and paintings in the air and add bubbles, petals and other ornaments, for example.
The printer, released on July 28, is the latest addition to the popular Instax series, which primarily features instant cameras that allow users to print photos on the spot.
“We will continue to combine analog printing and digital technology to provide entertaining products and services,” Fujifilm President Teiichi Goto said during a presentation on July 7.
The Instax Mini Link 2 allows users to print photos taken with a smartphone using an exclusive app. Users can also print the best frame from a video shot with a smartphone.
The printer sells for 15,800 yen ($116), including tax, in Japan.
The Instax series, which marks its 25th anniversary next year, continues to attract youthful customers as it keeps evolving and incorporating digital technologies into analog cameras.
The brand, which is sold in more than 100 countries, sold 10 million units in the business year through March 2019. More than 90 percent of its sales come from overseas.
Instax instant cameras, introduced in 1998, became popular for their convenience, and about 1 million units were sold in Japan in the year through March 2003.
The figure sharply dropped to 100,000 in the year through March 2005 due to the widespread availability of digital cameras. But the Instax regained its popularity after it was featured in a TV drama series outside Japan in 2007.
Fujifilm released the first Instax brand portable printer that enables users to print smartphone photos on the go in 2014.
In 2017, the company launched an instant camera with a monitor for users to view photos before printing, like a digital camera.
Fujifilm also announced it will increase Instax film production by investing about 2 billion yen in a plant in Minami-Ashigara, Kanagawa Prefecture. The production capacity will increase by 20 percent when new lines become operational in autumn.
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