Polaroid Wants to Free Your ‘Trapped’ Digital Photos with New Fotobar StoresBy: Josh Wolford - January 2, 2013
Polaroid is hoping that people have a desire for the revival of physical photos. Sure, having thousands of photos online is great (in fact, it’s amazing), but for those great photos, the ones that truly mean something – don’t you want to hold it in your hand or hang it on your wall?
The company is thinking that answer may be yes, as they have just announced plans to open “at least ten” new Polaroid Fotobar stores across the country. These stores will allow customers to “make the process of turning peoples’ best pictures into cherished pieces of art both rewarding and fun,” according to Polaroid.
The process is simple and interactive. Customers will be able to choose specific photos and transmit them wirelessly to “workstations,” where they can be “enhanced using photo-effect technologies.” Yes, this includes filters.
People will be able to choose photos stored on their mobile devices as well as those on photo-sharing networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa. Polaroid has yet to mention many other popular photo services like Flickr or Google+, but one would imagine that they wouldn’t be left off the compatibility list.
Once a photo is properly tooled, people will have the ability to print it onto various types of materials and will have custom framing options. Some of those substrates include canvas, metal, acrylic, wood and bamboo. Once ordered, prints will be manufactured and shipped within 72 hours, says Polaroid.
“There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones,” said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO of Fotobar, LLC. “Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.”
The first Polaroid Fotobar store will open in Delray Beach, Florida. It will be a 2,000 sq ft space that’s slated to be completed and ready to go by February. Future locations for 2013 include New York, Las Vegas, and Boston.
Polaroid says that the Fotobar stores will “help people release their ‘trapped’ photos and display their cherished memories in the form of premium quality art.”
Do you feel like your digital photos are “trapped?” I’m not sure about that, but high-quality analog photos are totally “in” right now (or at least on the way back). What do you think of Polaroid’s bet?