Monday, February 11, 2008Home

Polaroid and Film part ways

Polaroid Corp. has sealed the deal on its breakup with film photography, and is closing factories in the US, Mexico, and the Netherlands. The Polaroid camera was a familiar sight to anyone growing up in the 20th Century (amazing that such a statement can make a 25-year old blogger feel so old). The last Polaroid instant camera was released in 2006, and production of consumer cameras was halted a year later. Polaroid will be changing its focus to digital photography and flat-screen monitors, and has only manufactured enough film to last through 2009. There is good news, though: Polaroid plans to share its technology with third-party, niche-oriented companies.

From Bloomberg:

"'Last month, Polaroid unveiled a line of Zink printers that can develop wallet-sized photos from digital cameras in 60 seconds. The company plans to roll out larger-format printers in coming years,' (Tom Beaudoin, Chief Operating Officer, Polaroid Corp.) said. 'Polaroid also makes DVD players, TVs and other electronics, which brings in about $1 billion in annual sales,' he said."

The Polaroid 600 series of film is perhaps the most recognized: the thick white border is unmistakable. What are not are the other products mentioned above. Who has seen a Polaroid DVD Player on someone's shelf? It's easy to imagine that anything with the "Polaroid" brand will appeal to white-border fanatics, but there's no doubt that the company has liquidated the film for its most prized and famous product.

The artful possibilities of the Polaroid are universally simple, and manipulating the image can be done by a fourth grader (with the help of an adult to boil the water). With the relegation of this medium into the world of technological relics, it seems that Polaroid will deprive future generations of yet another thing that doesn't need to be plugged in.

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