Polaroid Lab – The return from digitality

By adding some chemistry to your smartphone pixels, Polaroid Lab created an instant formula for timeless images. The device combines the practicality of phone photography and the beauty of instant polaroid film photos.

Every day, more than 100 million photos are uploaded to Instagram and more than 300 million to Facebook [source].

The massive digitalization of photography is overwhelming. Despite these facts, prints and analogs have never lost their charismatic value. Especially because of the digital era, prints and film have never had as much appeal as they do today. The Polaroid Lab by Polaroid Originals is bridging the gap between these two mediums, linking the practicality of smartphone photography and the beauty of turning a fleeting moment into an everlasting artifact.

The Polaroid Lab is an update of The Impossible Project’s Instant Lab Printer, originally a crowdfunded project from 2012, which presented a solution to convert digital photos from smartphones into analog instant film. The Impossible Project was rebranded into Polaroid Originals in 2017. In October of 2019, the company will launch the improved and rebranded device, the Polaroid Lab, for a price of 130 euros.

The Impossible Project Instant Lab
The Impossible Project Instant Lab was a crowdfunded project and the origins of the Polaroid Lab

Not only does the Polaroid Lab help make your memories permanent, the sleek white design is itself a statement choice for your home or office.

To use the Polaroid Lab, you first have to select an image from your smartphone using the Polaroid Originals app, then place your phone screen-side down onto the platform of the device.

The Polaroid Originals app lets you experiment with image collages and augmented reality features, exploring the capabilities of digital photo editing, giving you unprecedented creative control over your images before turning them into Polaroid pictures.

The Polaroid Lab converts smartphone photos into polaroid film
The Polaroid Lab converts smartphone photos into polaroid film

With a push of a button, the image is projected onto a piece of film, creating an instant Polaroid photo, using mirrors, light, and chemistry.

The Polaroid Lab acts as a small darkroom to create authentic polaroid instant photos
The Polaroid Lab acts as a small darkroom to create authentic Polaroid instant photos

The image is then ejected from the machine so finally, you can enjoy one of the most satisfying moments of instant photography: observing the photo as it develops.

The satisfaction of seeing a photo slowly develop in film is one of the small pleasures of instant photography.
The satisfaction of seeing a photo slowly develop in film is one of the small pleasures of instant photography

“Unlimited cloud storage can actually be your memories’ worst enemy, causing your digital photos to skyrocket in numbers and end up falling into a void of oblivion. The idea behind the Polaroid Lab is that it turns your most precious smartphone photos into tangible Polaroid photographs – bringing them into the world as something you can hold in your hand and store on the fridge door rather than in the cloud” says Oskar Smolokowski, CEO of Polaroid.

Polaroid lab lets you hold your favorite pictures
Polaroid lab lets you hold your favorite pictures

The Polaroid Lab uses the I-Type Film which will give the so loved vintage look that everyone loves in polaroids instant film photos. The reason being the fact that is battery-free. Since the device has its own rechargeable battery, there is no sense in using polaroid film with battery included. It will also make your Polaroid experience more affordable, making it easier to expand your instant photo collection.

Polaroid Color i-Type Film
Polaroid Color i-Type Film
Polaroid Color i-Type Film gives the distinctive vintage look to the images
Polaroid lab
Polaroid lab

Undergraduate student of Industrial Design at NABA, Milano. Thinker, doer and outdoors enthusiast. Understanding the world in order to help the shift towards a sustainable planet through design and every day action.