Instant gratification lovers rejoice: The Polaroid is back, but in a slightly different form than the one of your youth.
Polaroid’s concept for the new Socialmatic camera debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show back in January, and was met with a mixture of excitement and skepticism. But nearly a year later, it’s ready for retail, no doubt in time for the holidays.
The Socialmatic combines the photo-previewing function of a digital camera with the instant printing power of the original Polaroid camera. Users can snap a photo, edit it on the camera’s 4.5-inch touch screen, and then post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, Wi-Fi permitting. But what makes this a Polaroid is that users can print out a 2-by-3-inch, adhesive-backed photo to immediately bring a snapshot into the physical world.
The current design of the Socialmatic differs from the original concept, Fast Company reported back in January. The idea for the look, feel, and function was dreamed up by designer Antonio de Rosa in May 2012, and he planned on creating a device that looked just like a 3-D version of the Instagram icon and that would produce 4-by-4-inch photos. The interface on the touch screen would be Instagram’s as well. But after a failed Indiegogo campaign to get funding for the project, he entered a “long and difficult negotiation” with Polaroid to get the product off the ground.
But the Socialmatic doesn’t come cheap: The cameras retail for $300 with a 10-pack of printing paper included. A 25-pack of paper goes for $25, and it’s $45 for two packs. It could be good as a kitschy gift for your most nostalgia-obsessed friend, or for the person who doesn’t realize it’s quite simple to print full-sized Instagram photos on sites like Prinstagram or at the local photo/pharmacy.