Polaroid is set to open a series of experimental retail stores that the company hopes will take full advantage of the 1.5 billion photos snapped every day by smartphone and tablet users.
"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. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that," said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO of Fotobar, LLC, of the company's plans.
Aiming to turn the task of taking a digital photo and turning it into a cherished piece of art both easy and enjoyable, Polaroid hopes to open at least 10 Fotobars in 2013, the first being a 2,000 square foot store in Delray Beach, Florida, in February. Further sites in New York and Boston have been earmarked for development over the coming year.
Visitors to the store will be able to wirelessly transmit their digital photos from their mobile devices to one of the store's bar-top workstations, where prints can be ordered or where enhancements and edits -- such as removing red eye -- can be made. The workstations will also give users access to social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and Picasa so that they can search for and find images to convert that are not on their handset or tablet.
Once the images have been selected, customers will be able to choose different frames and even surfaces, such as canvas or metal, on which the images can be printed. Polaroid claims that the finished pieces will be handcrafted centrally and will be shipped to the customer within 72 hours.
The physical stores will build on the company's online store at polaroidfotobar.com, where consumers can upload their images and order their artwork via the web.