Polaroid launching retail stores to print smartphone photos
Lauren Crabbe | Published: Jan 3, 2013 at 16:34 UTC19
Polaroid has not given up on printed photos. The film veteran is reinventing itself in the form of brick-and-mortar stores—Fotobars—where customers can "release their 'trapped' photos and display their cherished memories in the form of premium quality art." Customers can get their photos printed onto canvas, metal, acrylic, wood or bamboo, as well as matted or framed.
The Fotobars are coming at a time when a younger generation has grown up with photography as an instant gratification—many have never had the experience of waiting for film to develop. While Polaroid's Fotobars will not be able to recreate the anticipation of a darkroom, they will turn digital photographs into something tangible enough to hang on a wall.
In its press release, Polaroid spoke of the gap in the market they are trying to fill:
“There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones,” said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO of Fotobar, LLC. “Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.”
Fotobars will soon be popping up in malls around the country—Polaroid hopes to launch 10 in 2013. This new year is also expected to see the release of an Android-based mirrorless camera from Polaroid at the CES trade show next week in Las Vegas.