Polaroid has announced the launch of Polaroid Lab, a new device that transforms digital images into physical photographs. Alongside a new app, entitled The Polaroid Originals, the portable developing system functions as a miniature table top darkroom that develops smartphone shots into Polaroid film photographs using three separate lenses.
The launch follows what has been a challenging decade for Polaroid. The company, which was founded by Edwin Land in 1937, closed its doors in 2008 due to the rising popularity of digital technology that eclipsed instant photography. The company relaunched in 2017 and this latest development is indicative of Polaroid’s next move. The company is building on its brand by embracing augmented reality, double exposures and embedding films in order to bridge the gap between the digital needs of younger generations and analogue photography.
Polaroid Lab users can select images from their smartphone via the company’s newly-launched app. In order to turn digital to physical, users will have to place their phone facing downwards on Polaroid Lab’s platform. The picture is consequently projected onto film and then, using a combination of mirrors and light, is recast as an instant photo that ejects from the Polaroid Lab. Polaroid’s hybridising of analogue and digital photography becomes particularly clear through features that allow users to experiment with image collages and augmented reality features on their smartphones before turning the photograph into a physical photograph.
Polaroid Lab is out on 10 October 2019.