Now that The Impossible Project has succeeded in reviving Polaroid-style instant films — even giant ones — the company is expanding its horizons and branching out to new products. Today, it announced a crazy new device that’s dedicated to turning your digital iPhone photos into analog instant photo prints: the Impossible Instant Lab.
Your iPhone is attached to the device using a special cradle and stacking tower, the resulting photos are exposed using only the light from your phone’s display. The resulting prints are made without any fancy electronics or ink — only instant photos. Here’s a brief description of how it’s used:
Just select an image from the Instant Lab app, place the iPhone in the cradle and slide open the shutter on the base. A signal tells you when the exposure is finished. Close the shutter, push the button and the Instant Lab ejects your photo, ready to develop in the palm of your hand. That’s it!
Collapse the tower and the Instant Lab is fully portable and ready to go wherever your heart desires.
Specs include a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can do 150 developments with a single charge, a cradle that’s compatible with both existing and future iPhones (e.g. the iPhone 5), and compatibility with instant films for the Polaroid 600 and SX 70.
Check out this introduction video (not sure why there’s a creepy mannequin [Update: Apparently the mannequin is Betsy, a "famous Polaroid model"]):
This before and after comparison shows the quality of the printer:
The idea for the project started a year ago, when the Impossible team was trying to brainstorm a new camera concept. Along they way, they enlisted the help of German industrial designer Achim Heine, who created the Leica Digilux back in 2002.
Instead of launching the printer outright, the Impossible Project is turning to Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds and to collect preorders. A basic silver edition costs $149, and comes with a free film voucher. There are also limited edition black and gold editions that can be had for $299 and $2000, respectively. Mass-production and shipping will begin in mid-February 2013. Head on over to Kickstarter to preorder yours!