I was having a discussion with my girlfriend the other day about Polaroid Camera. She’s a big fan, but I always thought they represented the worst of both worlds between analogue and digital. Still, some people adore them, and if you’re one of them, then this product, straight out of Japan from toy company Tomy, might excite you.
At its core, it’s essentially just a camera with a printer strapped on. That might not sound particularly impressive, but it replicates exactly what the old Polaroid cameras used to do. The camera is a five megapixel jobby, and has infrared so that mobile phones can send their pics to the camera for printing purposes.
That printing promises to be relatively quick. The figure quoted is ‘within 45 seconds’, which is about the same as waiting for the old Polaroid photos to expose properly. The photos produced are a little smaller than Polaroid film, but they have an adhesive back, so you can stick them to anything you damn well please.
Don’t worry about printer ink, either. The paper has dye crystals embedded within it which are selectively heat-activated to create the image. That probably explains the ’45 seconds’ time limit.
The Xiao will be available in Japan on Friday, costing 34,00 Yen (about £240). Refill packs of paper will cost 880 Yen (£6ish) for 20 sheets. That’s rather steep, when you think about it, but I suppose you’re paying for the convenience. The device will launch internationally next Spring.