If a complete lack of talent is the only thing that’s been holding you back from becoming an acclaimed urban artist like Banksy, then the SprayPrinter is here for you. Simply select the design you would like to decorate a wall with on your phone, wave the handheld dot matrix printer in the right direction and, hey presto, you have yourself a modern day mural.
The SprayPrinter has been created by a small startup in Estonia, which is now looking for support on Indiegogo. You’ll need to pledge $149 (around £105) to secure yourself a SprayPrinter, which plans to ship this July.
The company doesn’t actually explain how it works in much depth on either the crowdfunding site or the company’s own website, but Gizmodo tried an early prototype last year and had this to say:
The hardware is actually made of two key components: the SprayPrinter can attachment that controls the nozzle, releasing tiny blasts of paint to build up an image pixel by pixel, and a smartphone that converts and sends images to the SprayPrinter, but also uses its camera to track the position of the device of all times so it knows exactly when to tell it to release the dots of paint.
It’s a cruder way to keep track of where and how the SprayPrinter is being moved, and the approach will almost certainly mean the person holding the can won’t be able to move too fast to ensure the best results. But it’s also much cheaper than requiring a custom sensor array to track positioning.
A big selling point for artists is that the SprayPrinter is compatible with any spray can, so you’re not locked into buying a set brand or range of colours. As well as working on walls, the SprayPrinter can decorate fabrics and plastic.
The SprayPrinter’s inventor, Mihkel Joala, says the wireless device was born out of his own lack of artistic ability. “I wanted to paint a huge unicorn on the wall as a birthday present [for his daughter]. But I suck at painting, so it was a disaster,” says Mihkel in the device’s Indiegogo campaign video. “At the time I was working as an engineer and the idea of combining a printer head and a Wii remote control came to me. The result was astonishing. Now even my daughter can do it by herself.”
While the design you choose to use with SprayPrinter can be your own artwork or even a photo, the company is also looking to foster a community of artists to produce and sell their designs directly to users through the SprayPrinter companion app, so you can decorate your home or workplace with unique illustrations.