Impossible Instant Lab + iPhone = Possible Polaroids 0

Even though Polaroid™ suffered setbacks and even declared bankruptcy not too long ago, they show no signs of fading away – and we like it that way! We recently covered their new Polaroid Z2300 Instant Printing Digital Camera. I think it is quite safe to say that alot (if not most) photographers are a fan of Polaroids and that whole retro look. Well, now there is a new type of machine that creates Polaroid-style prints – from your iPhone. Yes! A New York City-based company called Impossible makes this transformation possible!  With their invention we photographers can “melt those iPhone pixels into a true analog photograph.”

The Impossible Instant Lab is a Kickstarter project that will hopefully meet its fund goal on October 8th 2012. At the time of writing this post, they were at $ 219,190 – which is only $30,810 away from their $250,000 goal.  Impossible is currently the only company producing instant film for Polaroid™ cameras today. Impossible became possible when they bought the last remaining Polaroid film factory in The Netherlands and restarted production in 2008.

The way the Impossible Instant Lab works is quite simple. It requires you to download a dedicated app onto your iPhone, attach it to the machine, and boom! Print is made. The process is described on their website as:

“Just select an image from the Instant Lab app, place the iPhone in the cradle and slide open the shutter on the base. A signal tells you when the exposure is finished. Close the shutter, push the button and the Instant Lab ejects your photo, ready to develop in the palm of your hand. That’s it!”


The Impossible Instant Lab crew paired up with a German industrial designer named Prof. Achim Heine – who designed the Leica Digilux 1; and Germany-based DHW Fototechnik – a company that is the successor of Rollei cameras. The result of their efforts is a wonderful marriage of analog and digital.  After looking at photos of this mighty cool-looking machinery and reading about how it works, I was instantly (haha, pun not intended!) reminded of the Polaroid™ Day Lab. I own a Day Lab and greatly enjoyed it in the past. My use of it declined when Polaroid stopped making their 6×9 film for it. So as you can imagine, discovering this amazing invention has sparked my excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I love how I can take photos with my phone but sometimes I miss the physical aspect of a print. You have to admit sometimes its much better to get a glimpse of your favorite shot posted on your refrigerator door as you reach for a drink inside, instead of seeing it on your iPhone screen.

You might be wondering if the Impossible Instant Lab will be compatible with the highly anticipated and supposedly-coming-very-soon iPhone 5. Don’t worry; the answer is yes. The website reports that the cradle will be compatible iPhone 4/4s AND 5. They are also planning on creating one for Android.  Some of the other important specs include: compatible with instant film for Polaroid 600 and SX 70 cameras, Li-Ion rechargeable battery that has 150 development cycles with one charge (wow!).  Retail price will be $299, so the minimum pledge price of $189 is quite a good deal. If the Kickstarter funding is successful, production will begin in February 2013.

I don’t know about you, but I am totally sold! And yes, I pledged. Let’s hope they meet their goal because I really want one – it’s my late birthday present to myself! Spread the word to all your shutterbug friends. I think this is a project that deserves to happen.