Retro, meet retro.
Polaroid is planning to open at least ten “experimental” retail Fotobar stores, where customers can edit and print photos taken on their smartphone and stored by services like Instagram, Facebook and Picasa.
The first Polaroid Fotobar is set to open in Delray Beach, Fla., next month and will be outfitted with work and edit stations where customers can wirelessly transmit photos from their phone. Uploaded photos can be edited for red eye, contrast and brightness with the option to add another filter to the photo. (You know, in case the Instagram filter you’d already applied wasn’t enough.) The store will also offer a variety of printing options, including poster-sized blowups and frame selections, and will even let you print on materials like bamboo, metal and acrylic.
For Polaroid, the mission of Fotobar is to free your “trapped” photos.
“There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones,” Warren Struhl, Fotobar’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.”
New-age Instagram and the 75-year-old Polaroid have, in a way benefitted from one another. While Instagram relies on the analog look and feel of past Polaroid photos, the app also symbolizes the instant viewing gratification that Polaroid once provided to both amateur and professional photographers. While more impatient users may be perturbed by the 72-hour wait time for their prints, Polaroid is insisting a unique experience through workers known as “phototenders.” At the company’s Florida location, a room called “The Studio” will be available for customers to rent for private parties, attend photo classes and exhibit portrait photography.
Polaroid plans to open Fotobars in New York, Las Vegas, Boston and elsewhere in 2013. The company also plans to expand the printing service to incorporate photos from more sites and apps: Over at TheNextWeb, they’re crossing their fingers in the hopes that Flickr, Google+ and 500px are added next.
Check out some pictures of the upcoming store below: [images via Polaroid Fotobar]