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The Polaroid camera is back, in digital

A strange little ritual used to go along with Polaroid cameras. The shooter would grab the print as it came out of the camera and wave it in the air, as if that would stimulate the chemicals and make the picture appear faster. It didn’t. Yet it felt dumb to just stand there, waiting for the picture to develop. Polaroid stopped making film packs last year, so this little piece of tech culture will soon be just a memory. But just as the film-based Polaroid camera is fading away, along comes its digital replacement. That’s right: Polaroid was set to announce Thursday at the International Consumer Electronics Show that it is introducing a digital camera that produces prints right on the spot.

You can even call them “instant” prints, but they take nearly a minute to appear, so they’re only as “instant” as the old film prints. Essentially, the $200 PoGo is a camera that contains a built-in color printer. It produces 2-by-3 inch photos by selectively heating spots on specially treated paper. It has nothing to do with the old chemical Polaroid process, but the prints convey some of the same Pop Art charm: They’re grainy and the colors are slightly off, with faces tending toward a deathly blue-green. The camera is a successor to a standalone printer Polaroid put out last summer, designed to connect to camera phones and digital cameras. Read the rest of this entry »



While we thought we’d already seen the crown jewel of webcams before, Philips apparently thinks otherwise, as it boasts quite heavily about its new trio of display-mountable cams that were unveiled at Computex. All three devices support background customization and emoticon integration, wide-angle lenses, and face-tracking capabilities. The SPC620 holds down the low-end with a vanilla VGA CMOS sensor and will run you €49.90 ($67), while the SPC1000 includes a directional microphone and noise reduction filter, two-megapixel sensor, and a 5x digital zoom for the very same price.

The €99.90 ($135) SPC1300 features Pixel Plus 2 technology seen in the company’s Flat TVs, a six-megapixel sensor, audio beaming system, twin directional microphones, and Digital Natural Motion technology that purportedly nixes any frame rate flickers when video chatting. All three webcams should hit shelves in Europe, America, and Asia this August.

[Via TechDigest]