You know how a traditional photo lab works, right? You go into a red room with your film negatives and treat them with developer, stopper, fixer, and clearing solutions until you get a visible, accurate result. Well, what if you want to develop and print a photo taken with your phone? It's simple: buy Polaroid's $130 optical scanner-printer called the Polaroid Lab.
That's right, this baby uses a bunch of light and mirrors to bring an image on your phone's screen down to a box full of chemicals on top of Polaroid instant film. If you love the aesthetic of a Polaroid Instant Photo™ taking up wall space in your dorm room or bedroom or bulky, physical album or collage, this will do it for you — because let's be honest, pixel peepers have been and will always be more of a nuisance than nostalgia baiting or the recurring film purchases.
If that weren't enough for you, you can grab those photos and bring them back into your phone with stunning augmented reality through the Polaroid Originals app — said to work with iOS 11 and Android 7.0 Nougat devices from Samsung, Huawei, Google, and OnePlus.
The Polaroid Lab is expected to ship in October and also be available in Europe for 130 euros and in the UK for £119. You can sign up to learn more about it at this page.
Speaking of Polaroid Originals, you might be curious to know that this isn't some evolution of the original Massachusetts-based company that declared bankruptcy in 2001 (nor the reformed Polaroid entity that went bust in 2008), but the Dutch firm that picked up its brand identity and intellectual property in 2017. Prior to that, the company which has made the Polaroid Lab was known as The Impossible Project.
The Impossible Project was founded just after Polaroid announced its second bankruptcy and signaled the end of production for its film. In the years following, the project made its own film for use in Polaroid cameras as well as apps and other products, some of which made their ways to crowdfunding campaigns. One of them was the Instant Lab.
Look familiar? Yep, the people that Kickstarter-ed a photo $189 scanner-printer 7 years ago in an attempt to perhaps even save the Polaroid brand are the same ones that bought the rights to plaster said Polaroid brand on said scanner-printer and sell it (albeit with quite a few tweaks) for $59 less in 2019. Add on the twice-defeated corporate legacy of... well, you know who, and this whole thing could pass as an episode of The Walking Dead.
What a world, what a 'roid.