The Printer: The GL10 uses Zink photo-paper 4x3inch wide, which is perfectly re-creating that classical Polaroid look-and-feel. On the downside, the GL10 is only accessible with special client-software (no normal printer driver available!). There’s is also bluetooth connectivity, which makes printing from an Android Smartphone or a Mac/Windows-PC really easy. Oh, and the photo-paper is quite pricy, at EUR 0.60 a sheet.
The Connection: Lack of printer-drivers and a working bluetooth dongle rendered the original plan to use a RaspberryPi Linux-machine for printing obsolete. Therefor, I’ve been using my Mac to send files to the printer through Bluetooth (this should work on Linux as well, I guess).
The API: The Instagram-API is used to poll for pictures including a certain hashtag (“#camp404”) once every minute. We could’ve used Instagrams realtime-subscriptions, but since I have no public IP on our camp-network this would’ve been too difficult. Also, the printer takes <1min to do one print, so realtime isn’t exactly the goal 🙂
The Code: The PHP-code fetches images from Instagram, stores them locally and adds a Polaroid-like white margin, caption, name and and profile-photo of the creator. To do the actual printing, I actually had to use AppleScript to automatically send new files to the printer via Bluetooth 🙂
on run argv tell application "Bluetooth File Exchange" send file POSIX path of item 1 of argv as string to device "98-4e-97-00-5d-34" end tell (* Bluetooth File Exchange *) end run
Want to try it out? Just post an Instagram with the hashtag #camp404 – if everything works, it should be printed at our camp within moments 🙂