Saturday, October 31, 2015

Polaroid is back and selling 1,000,000 films a year

In the age of digital cameras and phones, print has gone by the wayside.  Once a year my wife and I put together bound albums of some of our favourite photos.  Even still, there is no gluing corners, handling photos, and even smelling the scent of a freshly developed photo.  Everything is done with a photo-builder app, printed to glossy paper, and bound. 

It's kind of like the music industry and vinyl, or the book industry and print.  There is a nostalgia, but also a need to realize that 100,000 songs on an iPod isn't the same as taking a record out of an album jacket, holding a Beatles or CCR album in your hands, and cursing when the thing skips.  I love my Kindle, yet I will take a printed book any day over 300 books that I may not have the same attachment to. 

Last weekend I brought out an old Polaroid SX-70 camera I have, still in the box.

The Polaroid Land Camera  contains no batteries which confused me when I bought it.  The batteries are in the film cartridge.  It was an odd, unique design. The film is still around $25.  My kids were fascinated by it. 

    "Don't undertake a project unless it's manifestly important and nearly impossible."
    Edwin Land

The Impossible Project is awesome.  In 2008, the founders purchased the last remaining Polaroid factory in the world.  Last year they sold over 1,000,000 films.

Thank you Steve Herchen, ZINK Imaging, and the Impossible Project for keeping your dreams alive for our children and grandchildren.

“Polaroid film is, in my estimation, the world’s most chemically complex completely man-made product ever.”

My son told me this morning on the way to his kindergarden class, when I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up, "I want to mix potions!"  Seems like a future-proof career to me.  Though he will probably be mixing potions on a computer and not by hand, using complex technology that streams the chemical composition to millions of sensors... wait that's Hadoop.

Polaroid announced last month the Polariod Snap

The unique part about this gadget is there is no ink.  It uses ZINK® Zero InkPrinting Technology, a thermal imaging process, to recreate the quality of a true photo.  These "Linear Arrays of Individually-Addressable Heating Elements" are the magic.

So what's missing?  I hope they put out a retro Land Cam with front-facing photo, and the ability to shake it off.  Taylor Swift could sponsor it.  My kids need to experience the joy of seeing a black photo turn from grainy brown, orange, yellow, and slowly into an actual color photo that you just took less than 4 minutes ago.  Perhaps by just placing the film in a see-through container, the process could be shown during development. 

This is close enough for now.

Amazon has the 10MP camera for $99.   Sooo tempted!

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