CES 2012: Polaroid Builds Android-Powered Smart Camera


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Polaroid has announced a new take on the digital camera at this year’s CES. The new SC1630 Smart Camera is a digital camera built on Google’s Android operating system. The 16 megapixel camera comes with 3X optical zoom, a 3.2-inch touch screen display, and wi-fi connectivity. The camera promises users the ability to capture HD images and video, and then immediately upload them to the social media site of their choice.

The camera weighs only 5 ounces. It comes with a variety of interesting features, including automatic face and smile detection, as well as a Smart Album feature that organizes images by date, location, and people. It also includes a number of editing features built in, allowing for cropping, red-eye reduction, resizing, and color correction. In addition to the built-in wi-fi, the camera also includes the option to connect to other devices via Bluetooth, and to access the internet via cellular data connection. What’s more, since the camera runs the Android operating system, it includes access to the Android app market.

Digital camera makers have increasingly found themselves in competition with smartphones. As the cameras on these phones have gotten increasingly better, people have found that they need their standalone digital camera less and less. By and large, the camera industry has had a great deal of difficulty stopping this trend. Polaroid’s solution is intriguing. Indeed, it is even a little poetic: the camera industry fares poorly because manufacturers are putting cameras in their smartphones, so Polaroid put a smartphone in its camera. The SC1630 offers users all the advantages of taking pictures with their phones - ease of upload, mainly - but also gives them the opportunity to take far better pictures than their phone ever could.

The camera’s price has not yet been determined, though Polaroid expects availability sometime this year.

What do you think? Can Polaroid convince people to start carrying their cameras again? Sound off in the comments.

[Source: Polaroid Press Release]