Polaroid paved the way for the selfie with its (nearly) instant magic photo production. The presence of a Polaroid camera changed any social scene it entered, because for the first time documentation of the scene could be witnessed while the scene was still happening — instead of long after, when the photos were developed. When OutKast sang “shake it like a polaroid picture” everybody knew that feeling — shake it fast and furious, so we can see the image now, while we’re still here.
Now Polaroid, an afterthought brand in contemporary culture, is back to performing its special brand of magic tricks: Polaroid’s new digital camera, the Polaroid Snap, will instantly print out a photo you just took. Don’t think that’s magic? How about this: it does it without ink! Using what’s called Zero Ink printing technology (ZINK), the Snap prints with cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals. The Polaroid Snap activates the crystals and voila, physical evidence of the scene. No shaking necessary. It requires special paper, alas. But overall, Hey Ya!