Polaroid takes a second shot





Since the advent of smart phones, our generation’s answer to everything lacking in technology has been, “There’s an app for that.” Don’t smoke, but need a lighter to wave at a concert? App for that. How about a book to listen to on a long drive? Yep, there’s an app. Always wanted an instant camera like the ones your parents had? Right again.

Lucky for us, at least one of those things is coming back in the flesh. At the beginning of the year, Polaroid announced the release of its newest product, the Socialmatic Camera.

First revealed in the late 40s, self-developing film was the hottest thing in photography for nearly 60 years. When the novelty of being able to develop your own film was eventually shadowed by digital photography, Polaroid stopped production of the cameras, thus ending an era. However, their yellow tint and hazy appearance has become the staple look for the recent vintage revival, and Polaroid has decided to try again.

In a blend of old school and innovative technology, the Socialmatic will combine an instant camera with social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. It boasts a 14-megapixel front camera, a 2-megapixel rear camera and a 4.5-inch touchscreen. The camera is Android-based, which means WiFi is available to help you post from anywhere.

The camera’s body is about five inches square. After taking a picture, you are able to edit it onscreen and add clipart, text and drawings. From there a picture can be posted on a variety of social media sites, or it can be printed instantly on a 2×3 inch photo paper, complete with your decorative embellishments. The paper is ink-free, meaning it’s practically impossible to tear or smudge.

In addition to this basic post-or-print process, the Socialmatic includes several other novel features. For instance, the camera has a Mood Assistant that “shows the camera’s feelings,” according to Polaroid’s website. We’re not sure what that means, but our best guess is that sensors tell the photographer if the environment is conducive for picture taking.

Either that or it’s raising awareness for sensitivity toward cameras’ emotional stability. Cameras have feelings, too.

In all seriousness, the Socialmatic is a step in the right direction toward getting back to a simpler time without discrediting the importance of new technology. Polaroid said the reincarnated craze is set to be released in the fall.

Oh, and if you want the editing tools but not the entire camera, there’s an app for that.