The Impossible Project isn’t content with restarting Polaroid’s abandoned instant film production; it also has a Kickstarter, offering a decidedly odd-looking way of getting instant prints from your iPhone. Rather than plugging in via the dock connector, as we’ve seen other mobile printers do, the Impossible Instant Lab takes an altogether more accordion-like approach, basically slapping the iPhone on top of a modified Polaroid camera base.
A collapsable bellows-style assembly extends, to sit your iPhone – or, indeed, any other smartphone with a sizable display – on top. At the bottom there’s a manual shutter and the guts of a Polaroid camera: to use it, you load up the Instant Lab app, pick the photo you want a hard copy of, and slide open the shutter.
There’s a signal to indicate when the exposure – powered only by the phone’s own backlight – is ready, and then it’s a case of closing the shutter and pushing the button; the photo itself is spat out the front. The battery is doog for up to 150 shots, and you can use Polaroid 600 and SX 70 film.
Although it seems a bit gimmicky, it’s obviously found appeal with enough Kickstarter backers: they’ve already pushed it past the $250,000 goal by more than $55k, with 25 days left to run. Mass production should start in mid-February 2013, and the retail price will be $299.