Earlier this week Oskar Smolokowski oversaw the integration of Polaroid and Polaroid Originals, with the result being a newly-formed parent organization called Polaroid BV, of which he is the CEO. Which must have made him pretty happy.
He’ll still be smiling this afternoon as the instant camera behemoths have announced a new analogue camera that makes full use of recent technological advancements, meaning the device can be controlled from the comfort of your own phone via Bluetooth.
The OneStep+, which hits UK stores in early September, is the follow up to last year’s 80th anniversary celebrating OneStep 2. The camera itself features a new portrait lens, while the app throws up a whole host of new features, including double exposure, a scanner, and manual mode that allows the user to have total control over aperture, shutter speed, flash intensity and photo ejection.
In fact, when we talked to Oskar about the release, it was the latter function that seemed to excite him most: “Once you understand those things it’s hard to settle for anything less than full control if it’s at your fingertips,” he says.
For Oskar at least, Polaroid’s contemporary innovations aren’t necessarily about making people better photographers so much as making sure people take photos that mean something to them, photos that, “you want to look back at when years have passed, and you want to smile about fun a certain moment was.”
Despite the retro styling of the new camera, Oskar stresses that as a company Polaroid never pushes to be nostalgic. “It just happens to be that there’s these amazing timeless designs, so we get inspired by some of that work, particularly as a lot of it is in our own heritage at Polaroid,” he tells us.
He goes on to say that the app is intended to make photographic techniques accessible, fun, and simple. Talking about that ethos, he quotes Polaroid co-founder Edwin Land, who said of the company’s iconic SX-70 model, “What we have tried to do is to provide a medium for artistic expression to anyone with only a reasonable amount of time.” Oskar relates Edwin’s idea to the app, noting that, “we put a lot of effort for the app to do just that, and because it directly controls the camera it can explain and let you experience the effects at the same time.”
The app can be used without the camera, and is available for download on both iOS and Android devices via Google Play the App Store right now.