Yesterday at CES, Polaroid debuted its new Grey Label line of digital photography gear, including the first gadgets “co-designed” by pop star Lady Gaga, initially named a creative director for the company in 2010. Three new fashion-conscious accessories include the GL10 Instant Mobile Printer, GL30 Instant Digital Camera and GL20 Camera Glasses, offering amateur paparazzi a flamboyantly retro-futuristic digital spin on shaking it like a certain type of picture.
All capitalize upon Polaroid’s ZINK (zero ink) technology, which uses paper embedded with colored, heat-activated dye crystals that mimic the appearance of traditional photo paper and image development. Water-resistant and smudge-proof, the prints, which are triggered by thermal exposure, are designed to mirror both classic snapshots and the traditional picture-taking process, conceptually blending well with the Haus of Gaga’s roots in pop culture.
Shipping in May 2011 for $149.99, the stylish, notepad-sized GL10 instant mobile printer outputs
3”x4” prints on-demand to custom ZINK paper. Larger than the previous 2”x3” options previously available on models like the Polaroid PoGo, this paper will be sold via packs in multiples of ten. The 3×4 prints take about 40 seconds to produce, require no ink and can connect to computers, smartphones and digital cameras via USB or Bluetooth. A free Android smartphone app, available at launch, will allow images to be edited with filters and borders before issuing print commands, allowing you to quickly snap shots of friends and share tangible souvenirs of concert or late-night experiences. Apps for Windows Phone, BlackBerry and other mobile platforms are also planned for release in 2011.
Also coming towards the holidays (price TBA) are picture-taking, oversized GL20 sunglasses, wearable eyewear with a built-in digital camera that lets you instantly snap photos, then display them on the glasses’ eyepieces, equipped with twin 1.7-inch OLED screens. The point-and-shoot “high-fashion models” with Bluetooth and USB output are “part fashion statement, part revolutionary technology and part-tool for self-expression,” per Polaroid, letting users memorialize whatever their gaze wanders across. Happily, users can still see while the specs are placed over their peepers.
Rounding out the trio of devices, the 12MP GL30 instant camera, coming later in 2011, sports a vintage Polaroid design retrofitted for modern use with a built-in instant printer, swiveling LCD and options for adding white borders.
“I brought my vision and love of fashion, technology and obsession with the future into all my work,” said Gaga in a written statement. Looking appropriately retro fabulous, the concepts may be just what’s need to reinvigorate the aging brand, recently besieged by numerous apps that misappropriate its signature photo booth aesthetic. Hoping to make the Polaroid name relevant for modern enthusiasts, Gray Label may be just what’s needed to extend its appeal beyond nostalgic shutterbugs and aging hipsters.