When all of us are carrying phones that can snap a thousand photos a minute and
are connected to cloud systems that can store millions, there?s an undeniable
charm to physical photos. The ones deemed worthy; the ones so special that they
must be transformed from bit to atom.
While photo printers are nothing new, Polaroid is twisting up the concept (and
rebooting an idea from a few years back) with the ?Polaroid Lab.? It?s a $129
tower that uses the light from your phone?s screen, bounced off a series of
mirrors, to make a proper Polaroid from the photos you?ve already taken.
Open your photo in Polaroid?s companion app, place your phone (any iPhone after
the 6S, and ?current models of Samsung, Huawei, Google Pixel, and One Plus?
Android handsets) on top of the tower, and push the red button. A few seconds
later, out pops a grey Polaroid. Did it work? You?ll have to wait a few minutes
for it to develop, just like the good (?) ol? days.
Is using light and mirrorsbetterthan just sending a picture to a printer over
Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and blasting the ink out from a cartridge? Maybe not. But
it?s neat! It?s physical and sciencey and fun ? and, arguably, as close as you
can get to having a ?true? Polaroid picture of a moment that?s already happened.
The company says that the Polaroid Lab works with its existing I-Type and 600
series films? which, as any enthusiast could tell you, doesn?t come cheap.
Expect each photo printed here to cost you a buck or two. That?s a bit steeper
than many at-home printers and definitely pricier than just blasting out some
4x6s at Costco, but this thing will almost certainly still find its audience
amongst those going for a certain look.
There?s also a way to ?blow up? one photo across a bunch of Polaroids, if you?ve
got the film to spare. Here?s a demo video of what that looks like:
If the whole concept seems familiar, you might be remembering the Impossible
Instant Lab ? a product of a veeeery similar vein that raised overhalf a
dollars on Kickstarter
[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/impossible/impossible-instant-lab-turn-iphone-images-into-rea] back in 2012. The Impossible Instant Lab wasdiscontinued in July of 2017
[https://support.polaroidoriginals.com/hc/en-us/articles/115008032567-Can-you-make-copies-of-Polaroid-pictures-] ? just a few months after the team behind itacquired the rights to the Polaroid
This seems to be a reboot of the concept, now with the added weight and
officialness of the Polaroid name thrown behind it.
The team behind the Polaroid Lab says it should hit shelves by October 10th.