One of the gadgets I was most excited about getting my hands on at CES was the highly anticipated new Polaroid Socialmatic camera, which I saw in person, and yes, it’s awesome. But when I walked up to the booth and caught their new Polaroid Zip Instant Mobile Printer I found a new lover. Or at least some new mobile photography gear to love.
This new palm-sized photo printer (really!) uses Bluetooth to connect with your mobile device, then prints out your favorite smartphone photos in less than a minute. Just like an old Polaroid! Only you have a sense of how they’ll look before they print, now.
Each full-color 2 x 3 print is completely smudge-proof from what I saw, and even prints out with a peel-off backing if you want to turn it into a sticker. (I can already hear the teens shrieking from here.) And because the printer uses Zink zero-ink printing, you’re not walking around carrying actual printer ink in a device in your bag. Because that would scare me.
Also there are some nifty iOS and Android apps that let you do things like enhance the photo, add filters and effects, create a collage (if you want 9 teeny tiny pics on one print), or even turn it into a business card. There’s also an option to make your edits private and secretly viewable, but as parents…well, we have a wait-and-see attitude about that feature.
Now for those of you raised on digital cameras alone, welcome to the high price of real film. You’ll get about 25 prints before you need to recharge the printer, with extra rolls of photo paper about $25 a pop after you’ve worked your way through your first batch. The printer itself is $129.99. Your smartphone is, hopefully, already paid for.
Unfortunately, you will have to wait until the spring to get your hands on it, but based on how well it worked when we gave it a try at CES, definitely keep your eye out for it in a few months when the Zim Instant Mobile Printer hits virtual shelves. C’mon spring!
Top photo: Jon Armstrong for Cool Mom Tech