ADR Studio first revealed the Socialmatic concept design back in 2012. A year later Polaroid announced that the chunky photo sharing and printing camera would hit stores by the close of 2014. When Gizmag visited the company's booth at Photokina, that shipping target looks to have been refined again, with a possible "in time for the holidays" window being replaced by a probable Q1 2015 release.
Though you kind of get an idea of the size of the black or white Socialmatic from the pre-release photos, it's not until you get up close that its dimensions really hit you. A small "pocket" camera this is not. It reminded me of a collapsed SX-70, but with a square front/back. And at 1.25 lb (0.57 kg) including the battery (which promises 12 hours of use between charges), it's quite a weighty beast.
The overall size has much to do with enabling Polaroid to include a 4.5-inch touchscreen display that allows users to frame up shots and access the smart camera's functions and Android apps. Above the display is a 2 MP camera, and there's a 14 MP front camera with LED flash and fixed Polaroid lens.
Also out front is a small LCD running something called the Mood Assistant. This produces emoticon-like images which change according to what's happening – such as a smily face when you're taking a photo, a printer icon when the camera is throwing out prints and a shining sun that encourages users to get out and shoot more.
The Socialmatic features a built-in Zero Ink printer to print out the captured image on business card-sized, sticker-backed keepsafes in under a minute without needing to worry about buying ink cartridges.
Captured images can be customized with text, icons and clip art without the need for external editing, and integrated Wi-Fi caters for sharing on social media networks or photo sharing sites like Facebook and, of course, Instagram. If there's no hotspot nearby, users can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth and share images using a mobile connection. There's 4 GB of internal memory with microSD expansion, and stereo speakers.
When the Socialmatic camera finally gets released, it will cost US$299.