Turn Your iPhone Into A Polaroid

By rights digital photography and smartphones should have spelt the end for the Polaroid Corporation. In 2001 it filed for bankruptcy protection. Five years ago it announced it would stop making instant film forever, shutting three of its factories and laying off most of its workers.

Then a bunch of ardent fans bought the last Polaroid production plant in The Netherlands and started to produce their own instant film for Polaroid cameras, under the name The Impossible Project.

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Meanwhile, Polaroid, somehow still staggering on, announced it had a new creative director: Lady Gaga.

That same year, 2010, a new photo-sharing system was launched that allowed people to produce suspiciously familiar white-bordered photos in a glowing, flattering, retro light. It was called Instagram and it proved to be quite popular.

In 2014 the whole thing comes full circle with the launch of the Socialmatic Instragram Camera that will allow users to add different filters before printing out their postcard-sized photos. Gratifyingly, it will carry the Polaroid brand.

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What you see here is not that camera, but it might be the next best thing. The Impossible Project’s new wheeze is to “bridge the gap between digital and analogue photography”, by turning iPhone digital photos into Polaroid-style prints. You download an app, stick your iPhone onto the little plastic tray, and hit the button to print. The Impossible Instant Lab then produces a physical copy of your digital snap.

Yes, it looks ridiculous. No, it’s never going to fit in your pocket. Quite possibly, you might be better off just buying a Polaroid camera and saving yourself the faff.

But despite it all, we rather like it.

Everything old is new again, yeah?

£219; www.the-impossible-project.com