There’s something appealing about physical photos in the age of smartphone cameras. Sifting through images to find the one perfect shot among hundreds of digital snaps and printing it out to stick on your fridge is deeply satisfying. The new Polaroid Lab desktop device lets you do that at home, by converting digital files into classic Polaroid-style film photos.
It’s not just a printer though. The Polaroid Lab from Polaroid Originals is described as a “miniature table top darkroom”, using chemistry to create the images rather than just printing.
To use the device, you select an image from your smartphone using the Polaroid Originals app, then place your phone screen-side down onto the platform on the device. You push a button, and the image is projected onto a piece of film, creating an instant photo using mirrors, lights and chemistry. The image is ejected from the machine and you can enjoy the most fun part of Polaroids — shaking it while the photo develops.
The device is an update of The Impossible Project’s Instant Lab printer, originally a crowdfunded project from 2012. The Impossible Project rebranded to Polaroid Originals in 2017, and now creates retro cameras as well as printers and instant film.
The Polaroid Lab goes on sale on October 10th for $130 in the US, $130 in Europe and £120 in the UK. It works with devices running iOS 11 or above and Android 7 or above.