Polaroid's new instant-print camera: Socialmatic, not Instagram
Polaroid is lending its retro-heavy brand presence to a new digital camera product, which the Web has already dubbed "the Instagram camera". The Android-powered Polaroid Socialmatic camera will have built-in photo filters (a la Instagram), as well as a QR-code stamp feature.
It's worth pointing out that Polaroid already has instant-print digital cameras, and has had them for years. You just didn't know about them because there was no press release that used the term "Instagram".
Also, the mockup shown here is deceptive, since Instagram itself is not involved in the Polaroid Socialmatic camera. Therefore, the new Socialmatic camera will not look like the Instagram smartphone app logo.
I'm not sold on the QR feature. So your friend snaps a photo and applies a retro filter. She then prints the pic and hands it to you. You then take out your phone and scan the photo? WTF?
Why wouldn't she just send the image to you digitally? The workflow concept seems divorced from real-world behavior, especially since nobody uses QR codes.
Socialmatic's concept was developed in 2012: other than the square form-factor, it just doesn't strike me as all that compelling, once again considering how much earlier Polaroid was to the game, and Polaroid's name is synonymous with "instant print". CEO sheds a bit more light on the project:
“We are so proud to work together with C & A and Polaroid, giants of digital photography.” – said Mr. Antonio De Rosa, CEO of Socialmatic. “It ‘s been a long and difficult negotiation but we were strongly motivated to reach an agreement to create a small revolution in digital photography. This mix of Hardware and Software, together with our brand new photo social network will fill the gap between virtuality and reality.”
So you're getting yet another photo-sharing network. It can join Instagram, Pixlr, Flickr, and the rest.
This could be good news for the Polaroid legacy, though: once a titan in the industry, Polaroid was unable to weather transition into the digital age. The company went bankrupt, and its name was purchased by PLR IP Holdings. PLR now has a chance to lease out the Polaroid name without committing to physical production.
Meanwhile, if you want a digital camera that prints on demand, you don't have to wait until next year. The future of the past is now.