Many of you may be old enough to remember the old Polaroid cameras that would spit out a photo and develop the picture directly in front of your eyes…some of us even used them as our main shooter. In 1943 while on vacation with his family, Mr. Land was presented with a question from his 3-year old daughter – 'why can't I see the picture you just took…why do I have to wait?' It was that day that Land conceived the idea for an instant camera and it was in 1947 when Land first demonstrated such a camera. Continual improvements were made and in 1963 the first Model 100 Land camera hit the stores. In 1972 Polaroid introduced their SX-70 Land camera – the first fully automatic, motorized, folding camera with instant colored pictures…within a year, they were producing 5,000 a day. In 1972, the Polaroid OneStep debuted and this inexpensive, fixed focus camera became the best-selling camera, instant or conventional, in the US. The last, really popular camera made by Polaroid was the Spectra System in 1986.
With the advent of digital photography, which allowed consumers the ability to download, manipulate and print out their own photos, the need for expensive instant film quickly died away. Smartphones with great cameras that can take a picture that can instantly be shared or downloaded to print was the final nail in Polaroid's coffin. Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and now are slowly trying to make their way back into our consumer lives with its most recent Polaroid Socialmatic camera, which is surprisingly shaped like the Instagram emblem.
Based on recent patent drawings, Google may be looking into bringing out their own instant camera. Apparently, Google has been exploring the possibility of making a digital version of an instant camera for quite some time. Google's 'instant' camera would be different because the user could choose when to print the pictures – immediately or at a later time. Google's camera can also print a postcard style backing on the photo, complete with a prepaid postage stamp – snap, print and mail. On vacation or opening Christmas presents – take your pictures, print them and drop them in the mail.
As with many patents, Google may decide to scrap their digital instant camera. A lot may depend on if there is a genuine need for the product. I could see law enforcement, fire marshals, teachers or possibly healthcare workers making use of this camera…what do you think? Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about the new digital instant camera or if you ever used a Polaroid camera…as always, we would love to hear from you.