While the idea of a Instagram-lookalike camera built around social sharing has been around since 2012, and since 2013 would be Poloroid-branded, it’s taken until this week at CES in Las Vegas for the camera to emerge beyond the drawing board.
According to the CES announcement and the Polaroid shooter — which was initially supposed to arrive in Q1 of 2014 — will actually make its debut in the Fall. All of the necessary legal agreements have apparently been struck, paving the way for a new kind of social network-centric camera.
When it does arrive, the camera will sport a 14-megapixel sensor in the front, 2-megapixel on the back (for selfies, of course), 4.5-inch touchscreen LCD, built-in WiFi, 4GB built-in storage with microSD expandability, the ability to print on Polaroid’s ZINK (zero ink) paper, and Android running the whole thing.
As for digital sharing, the Socialmatic runs Android, which should allow you to upload photos you take with the camera any social network with an Android app, including Twitter, Facebook and–of course–Instagram.
Why I’m Curious: For starters, it will be interesting to see if this device takes off or not. Indeed, given that almost every mobile device already has increasingly great cameras and the capability for social sharing, I’m intrigued as to whether there’s a market niche for cameras like the Socialmatic. Furthermore, I’m curious what other devices with social elements will begin to spring up – cameras seems like the obvious choice, and we’ve even seen activity trackers and weight scales with social integration, but who knows when devices like one’s microwave or toothbrush doing the same.
I do think that this might pave the path for other high-quality cameras to have marketable connectivity that revolve around social sharing. I’m no camera whiz, but I’d be surprised if that doesn’t exist already in the world of non-tablet/mobile device digital cameras. I also wonder, however, if the point of this camera is to appeal to the general masses as simply a great device to take and share pictures or whether Poloroid is hoping this device becomes more of a fashion and lifestyle statement for the already Instagram-and-selfie-obsessed people out there who are searching for the next great thing to make themselves stand out from their friends.