We’ve been taking a look at the new Polaroid Pogo Instant Mobile Printer and it’s interesting. It’s a neat little product, a bit bigger than a deck of cards, with a rechargeable battery worth some 15 prints, Bluetooth or USB connectivity and a price point of around $150.00 (or £99.00). Read on for more…
The company is using the launch of the PoGo to announce its return to the consumer electronics world after a few years in the post Chapter 11 wilderness, and as products go this could be enough to put the brand back on the shelves in a decent showing. It’s not a must-have product, but it definitely shows off a technology that could produce a winner product sometime in the future.
The unit delivers a small (2 x 3 inch) sticker backed printout in an impressively short time, around 30 seconds, using no inks or other messy chemicals. It’s a completely dry dye sublimation process, and the printouts are waterproof and almost indestructible with a kind of plasticy feel. As you’d expect with Polaroid tech, all the smarts lie in the paper, which costs around $0.33 cents (£0.30p) a sheet.
The company is clearly targeting the youth market with this product, those with cameraphones, disposable time and income and a desire to slap fun photo stickers on everything they see, own or encounter. In Japan it should sell out like hot cakes with those sticker mad young girls. Over here it will probably sit more comfortably alongside nice-to-have products like the Flip camcorder, something for Xmas for the teens in the house.
It’s certainly more fun than you’d think printing out shots from a cameraphone on the fly. Just hook up via the Bluetooth connection, select Send on an image and 35 seconds or so later out comes a dry photo ready to be stuck on a wall, desk, chest or forehead.
There are plans to extend the range with a larger printout model (4 x 3 inch prints) which may help to move the product into a more mainstream market, especially as cameraphones are starting to deliver decent quality images now with 3.2 megapixel and upwards becoming the norm. At the back of my mind, however, is the feeling that this is very much a technology looking for an application. Rather like the original Polaroid camera took a long while to find its market in among the other photographic devices of its time.
The combination of mobile phones, paper printouts and instant gratification has a sweet spot somewhere, in some business or leisure pursuit, and I get the feeling that it’s only after the product has been around for a while that these applications will start to emerge blinking into the daylight (an instant photo business card creator perhaps?). For now though, it’s a fun product which will probably do much to restore the reputation of Polaroid in the imaging world at large.
For: Small, fun and nicely designed device with no obvious competition in the market.
Against: Battery life a little on the low side, paper costs could mount up and it’s yet another piece of gadgetry fighting for a place in our bulging pockets and handbags.
* Print directly from digital camera or camera phone * Send, print, share. – no computer connections needed * 2×3″ borderless, color, sticky-back prints * Smudge-proof, water-resistant, tear-resistant photos * No Ink. No Hassles.™ – no ink cartridges or ribbons to throw away * Prints in about 60 seconds * Rechargeable lithium-ion battery * Prints up to 15 photos per full battery charge