Socialmatic Makes Polaroid “Instagram” Camera

Wed 6 March 2013 12:00, Vitto Christaldi

Polaroid used to be the most popular instant photography tool. Its popularity, however, has been degraded to the bottom of the pit in the last couple of years due to the invention of digital and mobile cameras. But hang on there, because soon the iconic camera company will be back in the market by lending its name to a new digital/instant camera. Instagram, the popular photo sharing app, will be the theme of this new camera, which will be designed and built by the Italian graphic design firm, Socialmatic LLC.

Socialmatic Makes Polaroid “Instagram” Camera

The idea for the Polaroid Socialmatic Camera has been proposed since May 2012. In their initial concept, Antonio De Rosa (the founder of Socialmatic) proposed to build the camera from a big and square iPhone-look-alike-device, polished with the Instagram icon as a front look. The idea went viral, mainly due to its Instagram-look (hipster alert!); and its popularity has inspired Socialmatic to bring the concept to reality.


The concept of Socialmatic Camera in May 2012

The Polaroid Sociomatic Camera is promised to have a 4.3-inch touch screen running on Android OS and 16GB internal storage with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity. Users will then be able to upload their pictures online to Facebook and Instagram; or print them out. The camera distributes photos from a built-in Zink printer; similar to a regular Polaroid camera. Each printed photo will come with its own QR code, which enables users to track the photos online. Next to those features, the camera will also be equipped with SC-HD slot for external mass storage. 

In Socialmatic's press release, Antonio de Rosa says that “Product design, details and specs are still in development and the product is planned to be launched in 2014.” Furthermore he says “Socialmatic and C&A will work to finalize the MoU in a definitive agreement to make the branded camera available to consumers in the first quarter of 2014.” Socialmatic is also hoping to create its own picture-sharing network.

(Also read: 11 Things that Instagram Should Change to Make User Experience More Pleasant – by Mashable)


Edwin Land, the Steve Jobs of Polaroid


The Polaroid Company was founded in 1937 by Edwin Land. In a short video on Vimeo, Christopher Bonanos told a short story about Edwin Land in his new book Instant. The story of Polaroid. He illustrated Edwin Land as the Steve Jobs of Polaroid.

Land did no market research” said Bonanos, “He once said ‘Marketing is what you do if your product is no good’”. Instead, Edwin Land believed that he had to show people something they had no idea they wanted but that was irresistible. So what he did: he turned the Polaroid annual meeting into a show. As Bonanos said “He would get up on the stage. He would show the new camera. He demonstrated whatever the new product was. And by the end of the meeting, you completely had to have one - you were drowned into Polaroid-Land.” 

Pretty much a Steve Jobs style, isn’t it? That’s because Steve Jobs used to idolize Edwin Land. Jobs once even explicitly said, according to Bonanos, that “he modeled Apple on Polaroid. In fact a few times in 1970’s and early 80’s, he made a trip to Polaroid’s headquarter to meet Dr. Land.

However Edwin Land’s creation had to stop being produced in February 2008, when the company decided to cease production of all instant film, shut down the company’s three factories, and laid off its 450 workers. The clip of Bonanos’ storytelling can be seen below:

Book trailer for INSTANT: THE STORY OF POLAROID by Christopher Bonanos from Princeton Architectural Press on Vimeo.

(Also read: First Polaroid Fotobar Opens in Florida – by Petapixel)

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