PetaPixel

Impossible Instant Lab Turns Your iPhone Photos Into Real Polaroid Pictures

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!


 
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  • Mark Wheadon

    Now that’s clever. Daft maybe, but clever none the less.

  • ncikmanofredda

    Gooood idea kivemuort

  • http://twitter.com/Olliefw Ollie

    You can get these for pack film, that print images taken on 135 slide film. I regret not picking one up when I had the chance!

  • http://twitter.com/dvd120 Dave D


    not sure why there’s a creepy mannequin” – That’s Betsy, the famous Polaroid “model”.

  • http://twitter.com/dvd120 Dave D


    not sure why there’s a creepy mannequin” – That’s Betsy, the famous Polaroid “model”.

  • http://ingrained.co.uk Scott Mains

    Has anyone been able to get a decent shot with IP film? I’ve had several batches now and it’s of a terrible quality?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    they’re still experimenting, most of their film tends to go a little blue after time – but all you have to do is scan your photos after you’ve shot them so you always have them how they came out originally. Better to have the film so people can still use polaroid cameras than have millions of useless polaroid cameras in the world.

  • Rob

    Retrotastically pointless. You can now put your wanky instagram snappettes in an old shoebox and pretend it’s the 1980′s.
    Perfect for sharing crappy little snaps in Starbucks when the internet stops working.

  • MikeAlgar42

    Surely that makes the whole thing a bit pointless then. Might as well take an image and photoshop it into a polaroid frame and downgrade the quality.

  • Tim

    Or just buy a dye-sub printer.

  • Tim

    Or just buy a dye-sub printer.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    well no, that completely misses the point of shooting polaroid. Instant photography (by which I mean physical polaroid film) is unique, sure it’s popularity has slowly gone down since the 35mm SLR and DSLR but there are still huge amounts of people that love to shoot polaroids and since polaroid no longer makes instant film due to profit loses in a now digital dominated world – the best we can do is a company that is willing to stake a lot of money recreating a film that was so popular, of course they don’t have the exact formula – I assume it’s protected by a patent of some sort. But for the moment that’s the best there is and there are plenty of people enjoying the Impossible Project film – myself included – the blue hue shift doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does – it’s not the biggest thing in the world to stress over. Creating the same polaroid effect in photoshop or using Instagram etc – it’s not the same, never will be.

  • MikeAlgar42

    Oops, I was referring only to this concept of taking a digital image and then printing it out on a polaroid in this weird way and then scanning the image. Not the whole impossible project. It seems a bit pointless and counter productive to take a photo on your iphone, print it only to scan it and make it digital again. Yes, it may not be the same if you faked it in photoshop, I will always love analogue. But this is digital to analogue to digital.