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December 2014 Retro Gaming Article


December 6, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Polaroid's Socialmatic camera is a mix of retro and modern photography

I miss the instant gratification of waving a "fresh from the camera" Polaroid photo in the air, as the detail slowly appeared before your eyes. I also appreciate the economic benefit of digital photography and the awful photos that are deleted without wasting prints.

Polaroid's Socialmatic camera Is there a middle point? Can a modern camera be viable as a print and digital device? My retro innards want to scream, "Yes," but practicality may be the death of that nostalgic warmth.

The Polaroid Socialmatic camera combines the nostalgic appeal of vintage Polaroid instant print cameras with the ability to share using the camera's built-in Wi-Fi and bluetooth capabilities.

We all know that camer-phones have improved greatly over the initially poor quality photos they once provided. Still, I've seen stand-alone digicams with social media sharing via built-in wifi. Some say amateur photography has gone the way of the "Phone" citing device specific apps like Instagram. For a camera to compete with that, it needs a valuable unique feature.

Socialmatic Camera Features

Due out in January 2015... The Socialmatic runs on Android and features a 14Mp front-facing camera, a 2Mp rear selfie cam, and a 4.5" Touchscreen. The screen, among other things, displays the Mood Assistant that shows a smiley face if you take a lot of pictures and begins to frown with less usage. It has built-in wifi and can connect to your mobile device via bluetooth. This lets it share your pictures to any social network with an Android interface.

Where it begins to differ is with it's Zink (zero ink) 2" x 3" printer and QR implementation. Both the camera and each photo gets a unique QR code that allows you to "follow" other users online and see where your photos have traveled. While these are unique features, I'm not sure it justifies the price of the camera and the photo paper - if you want prints.

Polaroid's Socialmatic camera I love the nostalgia of Polaroid and that they've brought out an interesting hybrid camera with a few new tricks, but I'm not sure it's enough to generate the needed buzz for this product.

While these are unique features, I'm not sure it justifies the price of the camera and the photo paper, should you want prints. Here's what I like most about my 12Mp digicam. It cost under $100 and if it breaks, I can replace it.

The Nostalgia Train Derails

A lot of this devices appeal will come from those who remember the former Polaroid and love the square Instagram look of the Socialmatic. But many companies we remember from the past are much different today. Atari is a great example. It's gone through so many iterations, few know that the only remnant of the company that brought us Asteroids is now engaged in online gambling.

Similarly, Polaroid has been through bankruptcies and it is nothing more than an iconic brand name that nameless venture capitalist's hope to bring back. As much as i love the old Polaroid cameras, I don't think the features or price point will encourage shoppers unless it shows up in a Beyonce video.

It's so cool, I have become a tad obsessed with it, so I hope it does well for the sake of... coolness?

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