Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Can Fotobar Make Polaroid Relevant Again?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the sit-and-print dept.

Businesses 149

The years have not been kind to Polaroid. The company has gone through a couple of bankruptcies, and has tried to reinvent itself with a number of less-than-popular products including: an Android powered "smart camera," and a digital camera that incorporates instant printing. They hope to reverse their fortunes now by partnering with a startup called Fotobar and plan "to open a chain of retail stores where customers can come in and print out their favorite pictures from their mobile phones." The first is scheduled to open in February in Delray Beach, Florida, and the goal is to open 10 locations across the country before the year is out."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

No. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498455)

check subject.

Huh, who'd have thought of that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498457)

Oh yeah, Walmart...

Re:Huh, who'd have thought of that? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498481)

I keep a copy of goatse on my phone, so I can reupload it and post to slashdot on the go. I went to walmart to get prints of my family reunion and the machine was down, so the kid had to start it up and insisted on helping me. As luck would have it, our friend Goatse was at the top. Long story short, he called the manager and I was asked to leave.

Fuck walmart.

Re:Huh, who'd have thought of that? (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42498615)

I sincerely hope you poker faced it and tried to convince the clerk that's just how family reunions roll after a couple beers...

Re:Huh, who'd have thought of that? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 years ago | (#42498747)

Not even just Walmart. Every mass merchandiser big box store has a "photolab" as well as every drug store. And since CVS, Walgreens, et al have a location on every corner in just about every city, you're never about 30 seconds away from one in any decent sized town.

Re:Huh, who'd have thought of that? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42499665)

But have you ever used one? They all really sucks ass, at least the ones I've tried. Walmart are giant asses when it comes to old prints, we tried to get a copy of a third grade photo of my late sis, they refused and said we would have to "get permission from the copyright holder"...uhh dumbasses? Yeah the photographer has been dead over 20 years so how EXACTLY am I supposed to do this? Have a fricking seance? No answer. Walgreen? "There is the machine in the corner, figure it out" was basically the attitude that I got, oh and the card reader only half the slots worked, the half that nobody ever uses because nothing uses those cards...niiice.

So yeah they have a shot if it has actual customer service and decent prices, I know plenty of people that would love to have better than inkjet prints of their family photos but like me have gotten turned off by the attitude of the only 2 in town, so why not? After all its not like its gonna make the company worse off than they already are.

Re:Huh, who'd have thought of that? (3, Informative)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#42499733)

Which is why you go to the online Walgreen photo ui, upload and order your pictures then pick them up in an hour.

Re:Huh, who'd have thought of that? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42500137)

So yeah they have a shot if it has actual customer service and decent prices, I know plenty of people that would love to have better than inkjet prints of their family photos but like me have gotten turned off by the attitude of the only 2 in town, so why not? After all its not like its gonna make the company worse off than they already are.

I don't think prints from walgreens or walmart (both of which I have used) are any better than the inkjet prints you can do at home with any reasonable (~$200) printer and quality photo paper. The only thing that typical home printers lack are the ability to print very large poster size images. You used to be able to get stuff like that at ritz... didn't seem to keep them in business, though.

good plan (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#42498461)

Cause I cant already to that at any drug store, wallmart, 2 places in the mall, and the grocery store

Re:good plan (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#42498475)

kinkos, staples, office depot....

Re:good plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498549)

this looks to be targeting a different market than the 25c 4x6 prints from walmart (which are essentially just high end inkjet prints on hp photo paper).

Re:good plan (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#42499917)

this looks to be targeting a different market than the 25c 4x6 prints from walmart (which are essentially just high end inkjet prints on hp photo paper).

Yes, it is targeting $15 4x4 prints with fat white borders. The target market is clearly Instagram users, people who think that filtering the crap out of their digital photos to make them look "vintage" is cool.

Aside: I think you'll find that the Walmart printers are dye-sub, not inkjet.

Re:good plan (2)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#42500181)

The target market is clearly Instagram users, people who think that filtering the crap out of their digital photos to make them look "vintage" is cool.

I think you mean filtering the crap INTO them.

I miss the photo labs of the early 2000s, which had restoration services which tried to filter the crap OUT of your actual vintage photos.

People still print photos? (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#42498467)

My mom occasionally prints photos. I have not printed a photo in years, since computer monitors are now more than good enough. My kids have never printed one. I don't think "printing photos" is a growth business.

Re:People still print photos? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42498581)

I don't think "printing photos" is a growth business.

My 73 year old mother prints digital photos... On her iMac. I'm sure it's easy to do on Windows too - so yeah, where's the market for this?

Re:People still print photos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499307)

People who need to print without a computer and printer. I'm not sure it's a large market, but it's the same basic market as what Polaroid used to have. It's just smaller now.

Honestly, it's not that hard to envision. Sometimes you want the prints right now.

Re:People still print photos? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#42499919)

...which is the argument for having a $60 inkjet photo printer that also does double duty as a flatbed scanner.

It's not an argument for the 2013 version of internet cafes.

If you want something printed out now, you don't want to bother with Kinkos or Walmart or CVS or even this silly thing.

Think grandchildren. (2)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#42498621)

Will your digital pictures still be as accessible to your grandchildren as your grandmother's photographs are to you?

This is one of those recurring "ask Slashdot" questions. How do I preserve the digital images or recordings so that my grandchildren can see them or hear them?

Physical copies of pictures is still the best solution when you're talking about 50 years later.

Re:Think grandchildren. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498687)

Physical copies of pictures from 50 years ago stored in common household conditions are barely legible. Digital photos at least have the advantage of consistently producing exact copies, so with a bit of care you can indefinitely prolong their lives. With paper or film you're copying already deteriorated image with techniques that add their own imperfections to blur and blemishes of previous copyings and years.

Re:Think grandchildren. (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42498799)

Physical copies of pictures from 50 years ago stored in common household conditions are barely legible. Digital photos at least have the advantage of consistently producing exact copies, so with a bit of care you can indefinitely prolong their lives. With paper or film you're copying already deteriorated image with techniques that add their own imperfections to blur and blemishes of previous copyings and years.

Ah, no, the 50 year old photos stored in the common household shoebox are, more often than not, perfectly "legible".
Virtually always so if they were in black and white.

In fact the lament of the current generation of digital photos is that they ALL die with the first hard disk failure, or
on-line account lapse, or they are buried under a mountain of crap in a Facebook account.

The old printed snapshots usually required a much larger disaster such as a fire or flood to totally destroy them.

Because virtually nobody prints digital photos, just about the only people who ever see them are the original photographer.
Nobody has the coffee table photo book anymore. These used to be easy to create, the natural side product of having to
have your film developed and printed.
Now you have to have special papers, Ink, a pretty good printer, and a lot of technical skill and patience to print them out at home.
Photo albums are actually harder to make today.

As for showing your digital photos, the only thing worse than the obligatory slide show is hovering over someone's shoulder
looking at photos on a laptop, or the few emailed samples.

Re:Think grandchildren. (2)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#42499059)

These used to be easy to create, the natural side product of having to have your film developed and printed.

Now you have to have special papers, Ink, a pretty good printer, and a lot of technical skill and patience to print them out at home.
Photo albums are actually harder to make today.

I disagree, strongly.

I just go to walmart.com and have them print the stuff out on their Fujifilm Digital Minilab Frontier 390 [blogspot.com] .

And then I pick up the stuff sometime later, since I'm usually in there at least a couple of times a week for other stuff anyhow.

It's cheap, good, and the color silver-halide prints will last as long as any others made using the same chemical process.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 2 years ago | (#42499173)

Because virtually nobody prints digital photos, just about the only people who ever see them are the original photographer.

LOL WHUT? [facebook.com]

When I was a kid with a snapshot camera dropping film off at the Fotomat, just about the only person who ever saw those prints was me. Now when I share even the dumbest photo on the net, hundreds of people might see it. Respectfully, I believe your assertion is 100% bass-ackwards.

Re:Think grandchildren. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498801)

Where the fuck do you store your pictures? My family has countless pre-WWII pictures stored in standard photo albums and they look nearly as good as they did they day they were developed.

50 years? Analog is fine for this. (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#42498989)

Physical copies of pictures from 50 years ago stored in common household conditions are barely legible.

Let's say you are right.

Digital copies of pictures stored on cheap CD-R or floppy disks from 1990 will be barely readable in 2040, even if you have a working drive and software to interpret the half-century-old data format. Why? The consumer-grade media that existed at the time wasn't archival quality.

What's that you say, you migrate your data every decade or more to avoid that? How many people do that? About as many as who re-photograph their family albums every 20-30 years to prevent photo decay.

By the way, I disagree with old photos being "barely legible" when stored under common household conditions. As long as they are in "living room cabinet" conditions and not in the attic or basement where they might get too hot/cold/damp/dry or out on display where they might get too much light exposure, most black-and-white prints, slides, and negatives, most color prints made since the 1970s, Kodachrome slides, and some more recent E6 slides will last decades with only minor degradation. Note: Many color prints from before the 1970s turn pink with age. Other than Kodachrome, I wouldn't bet that color slide or negative films would be in good condition if stored in "living room cabinet" conditions after 50 years. They might be viewable but I would expect at least some noticeable degradation.

If you do archive your work digitally, make sure you truly archive it. This means using materials and formats that will still be available when you do your next "refresh" AND doing that refresh on schedule, OR if you prefer, using truly archival materials and making sure you keep a device around to read it, along with a backup archive and a backup reading device in an offsite location. Very-long-life mineral-based DVDs (no organic dyes) are available for under $3 each. Not all DVD-burners can write to these DVDs.

Re:50 years? Analog is fine for this. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42499215)

The consumer-grade media that existed at the time wasn't archival quality.

So says piles of Luddite nay-sayers. Though, years after the dates of initial failure have passed, I haven't heard of anyone that lost a single CDR that was cared for (I know more than one that lost professional CD or consumer CD for having left it in a car in the sun).

Re:50 years? Analog is fine for this. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#42499993)

> Digital copies of pictures stored on cheap CD-R or floppy disks from 1990 will be barely readable in 2040

Anything I had of value in 1990 has already been taken off of it's original media. It's already replicated into several copies. Old data is pretty much by definition SMALL data so it can easily be replicated to the empty spaces of EVERY device you own (mobile or otherwise).

If anything, the problem is not "preservation". If anything, the problem is now that your data might live forever and also be out of your control.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 years ago | (#42499613)

How the heck are you storing your photographs?

I've found some during a major cleanup of my *outside* storage locker. (exposed to winter conditions, high humidity and hot temperatures for the last 12 years). *NONE* of them were deteriorated. I have pictures here (from my great-grandmother) that are still fine, and those are much older than 50 years.

OTOH, my 15 year old undevelloped films won't probably be as lucky (those were inside though)

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42498699)

Physical copies of pictures is still the best solution when you're talking about 50 years later.

Nope. Despite storage under mostly controlled conditions, some of the color 35mm film my wife scanned in the '90s is visibly screwed up if rescanned in the '10s. Some kind of analysis would probably make a great kids science project.

Yeah yeah black and white on archival acid free paper with extremely careful processing (to prevent long term fixer stains) MIGHT be OK in 50 years, plus or minus water damage, etc. But I wouldn't bet on it, and I wouldn't bet on random color prints from the instant-photo-kiosk lasting very long. I've also seen some weird fading on inkjet prints.

The best solution is keep copying it. Keep that data live and always on the latest media.

Re:Think grandchildren. (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 2 years ago | (#42499017)

Physical copies of pictures is still the best solution when you're talking about 50 years later.

Nope. Despite storage under mostly controlled conditions, some of the color 35mm film my wife scanned in the '90s is visibly screwed up if rescanned in the '10s. Some kind of analysis would probably make a great kids science project.

Yeah yeah black and white on archival acid free paper with extremely careful processing (to prevent long term fixer stains) MIGHT be OK in 50 years, plus or minus water damage, etc. But I wouldn't bet on it, and I wouldn't bet on random color prints from the instant-photo-kiosk lasting very long. I've also seen some weird fading on inkjet prints.

The best solution is keep copying it. Keep that data live and always on the latest media.

The problem with digital media is that it is usually an all-or-nothing affair. Physical photos degrade, but even the earliest photos can still be deciphered. Put physical photos in an box and forget about them. They might fade over 50 years, but after that you will be dead and won't care anyway.

With digital media, you need to be vigilant, always copying the files from old media to new, periodically copying to/from the same media to make sure the data is still good, etc. It is a lot of effort. I keep a redundant onsite backup and an offsite backup as well, but is that enough? What if the originals become corrupted and I back up files which are useless because I didn't notice?

I have recently been making an effort to print out the best/most memorable photos in duplicate and stuffing them into albums. Giving away one copy to a close family member ensures that even if my house burns down the photos will still exist.

Re:Think grandchildren. (3, Funny)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#42499281)

It is a lot of effort.

It should be ZERO additional effort. If you even have to think about it, then you are doing it wrong. I just copy the photos from my camera to my laptop, and then do nothing else. Within an hour they are automatically copied to a backup server in my closet. Within 24 hours, they are automatically copied to a git repository on a raid-based cloud server located a thousand miles away. None of this requires any additional effort because it is using mechanisms that are already in place to back up all my email, source code, business documents, etc. When I buy a new computer, I just copy all my data, and the photos are just copied along with everything else. No additional effort is required.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

lurker1997 (2005954) | about 2 years ago | (#42499813)

Someone please mod this funny.

Re:Think grandchildren. (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#42500033)

The originals are what should be modded funny.

The cult of anti-intellectualism has achieved new lows.

Backing up your photos is not a bother. There are a legion of tools that will make it easy and automated and will even ensure that your data is offsite. Doing it manually is also pretty trivial too.

You could simply have a directory called "Stuff I Want to Keep" and just copy that from place to place using the GUI of your choice.

Storage is big cheap and plentiful. Interfaces are shiny and happy. Most people could preserve their most prized data on the phones.

Again, the problem isn't preservation. The real problem is control. What you really have to worry about is Instagram changing it's terms of service or losing your phone on the train.

Re:Think grandchildren. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499039)

kodak processed prints survive over time. cheap prints from fuji-based and other knockoff labs fade and discolor horribly. dig through old photo albums and you can easily tell which were kodak and which were not.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#42498753)

Will your digital pictures still be as accessible to your grandchildren as your grandmother's photographs are to you?

My grandmother's photos are NOT available to me. She had a camera and loved to take pictures. But I have no idea where they are today. Maybe in a box in an attic or drawer somewhere. Maybe in a landfill. I have no idea.

This is one of those recurring "ask Slashdot" questions.

Yes it is recurring question, but a very annoying one, since the answer is always the same: put the images on at least two different types of media, and store them in at least two geographical locations. Then move to new media as the old becomes outdated.

My photo archive is about 100GB. I have one copy on a SATA drive on my home computer, another copy on SD cards stored in a fire proof safe, and a third copy in a git repository on a raid-backed cloud server located in another city. Of course my wife and kids each have their own copy of the entire archive. The chance of even one photo getting lost is infinitesimal.

Physical copies of pictures is still the best solution when you're talking about 50 years later.

Baloney.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#42499055)

No, the questions asked in most "ask Slashdot" questions related to this are about a means of preserving them for a long period of time. The problem's that this is not the good way around it.

Instead of attempting to find a CD that'll last 100 years or tapes that last 200 or engraved sapphires that last 1000, make your photo albums part of your living data. Keep them on your hard drive, properly backed up (preferably one on-site and one off-site) and just transfer them around as necessary. If one backup or the main copy is damaged or destroyed, restore it and keep going.

I have photos dating from ten years now which have just followed along with my data. I have an external HDD and use Crashplan for offsite backup. The 50 dollars a year are well worth the simplicity and peace of mind. All of them are stored in either common formats (JPG largely) or manufacturer-specific RAW image formats. Should the format become obsolete for whatever reason, I'd just convert the data while it's still possible to do so.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42499293)

I do the same, but without the cloud backup. I was burned long ago by cloud email shutting down. I had most backed up locally, but it still was an inconvenience. Moving drives around and keeping extra copies has worked well enough since then.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#42499831)

I have plenty of photographs that have faded or been damaged, and only at roughly 20 years old. The scans made of those pictures when they were first made however still live on as pixel perfect as day one.

Ironically, my current primary computers (a core i7 desktop, and a quad xeon server in the basement for VMs, including my storage server) have between them a full copy of every other computer I've ever owned in the past. All the way back to my very first Apple//, with a collection of disk image files and cassette tape sound files, containing the basic and assembly programs I wrote when I was only 12 years old.

The only trick to keeping digital data alive, is to migrate it to technology considered currently stable BEFORE the current storage tech it's using becomes old.

Don't wait to read those old apple2 floppy disks until 2013!
In my case, my first mac was a Color Classic, which had an apple//e card. At that point I imaged everything over to my macs SCSI HD.
That macs SCSI HD was copied to a folder on my first IDE/ATA Linux 1.2 based storage server, later copied to sATA, and finally lives on a SAS array.
Every form of "old" media I've had, from 8", 5.25", and 3.5" floppies, to ZIP disks, to older ATA or SCSI based hard drives, was copied along to whatever was current at the time.

Even without an "uber geek" setup such as a storage server might be considered, even a person who only owns one computer at a time can easily attach the last generations storage readers to their current computer and copy things over. Storage has always gotten cheaper and easier to attach more of it at once. This should be trivial even for 'average users'.
Anyone reading slashdot should already be leaps and bounds beyond average when it comes to their computers setup, which only makes this easier and more convenient.

Re:Think grandchildren. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#42499947)

Most of my grandmother's photos probably didn't make it to me.

On the other hand, digital photos are trivial to copy. If you scale them down, they are even trivial to scale and can fit on just about any consumer device with storage capacity.

Physical media only seems better because it was lucky enough to survive. Much like cultural artitfacts of an older age, it's simply what managed to stay around and not be forgotten. So it ends up making all old stuff seem better than it really is.

Physical media requires a much higher level of quality and preservation than what you can get away with in digital.

Simply being able to easily copy it gives digital the edge.

Re:People still print photos? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#42498631)

I can still see the business in large scale printing, like for hanging it up on a wall... but the 10x15 or 13x18 paper copies? Nah.... And for the photos on the wall, it's not exactly an impulse buy. I can just do this at a bunch of services online that work really well. I just don't see the market either.

Re:People still print photos? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#42498939)

I don't think this a good business idea either, but nor do I agree that computer monitors are good enough. They're a lot more convenient, yes, and they're a lot brighter, which can often be very useful. However, the resolution of most computer monitors is less than the resolution of even an 8x10, you can only view the picture wherever your monitor is, and you can only see them when the monitor isn't being used for something else. There's a lot of value in prints suitable for putting up on a wall or even just printing out 8x10 enlargements and putting them in a cheap frame. (Not that prints are strictly better than electronic viewing, either. There is no beating the convenience of viewing on a screen, and online sharing blows away print sharing. They just both have their uses.)

There are a bunch of problems, though. The kind of pictures people take with their smartphones rarely make particularly good prints; they're good for sharing, which the smartphone already has a lock on. Nice prints are an infrequent buy. There are already cheap and decent home printers, cheap online print services, and high-quality online semi-professional print labs. That pretty much covers all the prints you'd want. (I don't even bother with cheap online print services any more. Something that I would print a 4x6 of, I instead just share online. Impulse enlargements get printed at home. Anything worth looking good gets mailed to me from a pro lab for only $2 for an 8x10.)

Re:People still print photos? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499021)

Typical of someone, likely American, who has never left their country and assumes the whole world behaves like they do.

Re:People still print photos? (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 2 years ago | (#42499221)

I don't think "printing photos" is a growth business

That's why it's such a perfect fit for Polaroid.

Walmart (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#42499459)

Not every one lets computers control their lives and every time I'm at Walmart or London Drugs the print stations are full of people printing photos.

Re:People still print photos? (1)

hawk (1151) | about 2 years ago | (#42499595)

At the moment, I can go to the CVS about 100 yards from my house, or the wallie-world half a mile away, and get prints from something like 12c/each.

Separate stores for this purpose? And somehow these stores will be more common and closer than the drugstores that pop up like mushrooms on street corners?

seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498469)

Wow, absolutely clueless. Did no one tell Polaroid personal printers are commonplace nowadays?

Re:seriously? (2)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 2 years ago | (#42498507)

The article specifically mentions printing on different media like metal, paper, wood, clothes and such. So maybe they are on to something!

Re:seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498529)

What about shiny metal asses?

Re:seriously? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42498583)

Turn your instagram "artsy" photo into a tattoo in 45 minutes or less at the mall ! This might work !

Re:seriously? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42499145)

I wonder how difficult automated tattooing would be. If human skin were a well-behaved medium(which it isn't) it would be pretty trivial, you'd basically just need a pen plotter with slightly better vibration damping. Given the tendency to unpredictable elastic deformation and other nuisances, though, you might need a fairly sophisticated machine vision and possibly some pressure sensitive manipulator appendages to track, and where necessary modify, the target skin surface's configuration relative to the tattoo head....

Re:seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499015)

"Print my shiny metal ass"? Doesn't have the same ring to it.

Re:seriously? (1)

madprof (4723) | about 2 years ago | (#42499619)

A different ring altogether...

Re:seriously? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#42498685)

Why would you go to a cafe to do that, though? Even if it turns out to be a popular idea, they're going to get undercut by pure-play online vendors who need to hire a fraction of the staff, and can rent smaller, lower-upkeep offices in less expensive areas.

Re:seriously? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 2 years ago | (#42498767)

Yea but they have to order it and it takes a few days to arrive. You can do that online in a bunch of places as well. Now if they were an actual bar, serving alcohol and offered instant tattooing of your photos they might be onto something.

Re:seriously? (1)

Lordfly (590616) | about 2 years ago | (#42498791)

Even Walmart offers options such as that. This is basically one-hour photo wrapped to look like an Apple store. The overhead will be hilarious, and they will go under inside a year.

Re:seriously? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42499139)

Except that I can go in to my local branch of Jessops or Happy Snaps to do that already.

Re:seriously? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42498663)

Wow, absolutely clueless.

Fotobar?
s/t//

Enough said.

Re:seriously totally clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498871)

The Kodak photo kiosks already accept a Bluetooth connection from my smartphone. These guys need to get out more. Either that, or they could save themselves development costs and just buy the Kodak kiosks out of bankruptcy.

But why? (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 2 years ago | (#42498511)

I don't see the point of printing photos these days. All our old prints sit gathering dust in boxes in a closet. The only time anyone uses them is when I get them out as I gradually scan them all into a computer, hopefully before they all fade.

Now we look at our old photos more than we ever used to, blown up to a nice size on our TV in the living room. Added bonus: offsite backup copies in case of fire/tornado/whatever.

Re:But why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498725)

If you have a decent camera and actually know what you're doing with it you can print some outstanding photos to hang on your walls or stand on shelves and such. It makes the house a whole lot warmer and more personal than buying those generic shit pictures at Hobby Lobby and hanging them all around your house.

Re:But why? (2, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 2 years ago | (#42498829)

If you have a decent camera and actually know what you're doing with it you can print some outstanding photos to hang on your walls or stand on shelves and such. It makes the house a whole lot warmer and more personal than buying those generic shit pictures at Hobby Lobby and hanging them all around your house.

Helpful hint: I don't think the items you've been buying are for what you think they're for. Those generic shit pictures are just placeholders. To hang up your own warm and personal pictures, you're supposed to take the generic pictures out and use the frames.

Re:But why? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#42498951)

I don't think he means the pictures that come free in the frames, but rather the low-quality art prints and posters you can find at many decorating-oriented stores. You know, like what every college kid has hanging in his room.

Kodak is a company without a product. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498519)

Another dead idea. Quite unfortunate really.

Re:Kodak is a company without a product. (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42498569)

Another dead idea. Quite unfortunate really.

The buggy whip people found a new lease on life in pr0n and related activities. The camera people need to do the same.

Get rid of the plastic and the electronics, make it look like a '60s pentax spotmatic or violate some design patents and make it look like a vintage hasselblad, and above all else make it liquid proof. That might actually sell.

Re:Kodak is a company without a product. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498605)

"The buggy whip people found a new lease on life in pr0n and related activities. The camera people need to do the same."

Um... I think the camera people already dominate that market. After all, porn without cameras is just called sex.

Re:Kodak is a company without a product. (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42498651)

no no no I mean use a antique analog camera as a prop or toy for a theme, more or less. Using a iphone to document fun time is kind of been there done that. Consider 1860 theme night using a civil war era camera (which despite my low /. UID is still way before my time)

Just like using your buggy whip to drive the horses pulling your covered wagon doesn't count (see hot coffee mod for Oregon Trail)

Re:Kodak is a company without a product. (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#42499033)

Um... I think the camera people already dominate that market. After all, porn without cameras is just called sex.

I think it's called "strip club."

Re:Kodak is a company without a product. (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42498737)

The buggy whip people found a new lease on life in pr0n and related activities. The camera people need to do the same.

Get rid of the plastic and the electronics, make it look like a '60s pentax spotmatic or violate some design patents and make it look like a vintage hasselblad, and above all else make it liquid proof. That might actually sell.

Part of the appeal of Polaroid photos was the privacy they gave. You could take intimate photos knowing that (a) the photo store clerk wouldn't see the pictures, and (b) there was no negative that later could be abused. If someone was handed the freshly taken photo, the one with the camera didn't have a copy.

Digital cameras with a home printer solves (a), but not (b). This pathetic attempt from the new Polaroid trade mark owners is a step in the wrong direction, as it removes (a) too.

Desperation is a hell of a drug... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42498531)

I'm honestly surprised that an idea this stupid managed to get enough funding for a startup, let alone enough to drape Polaroid's necrotic brand across the venture...

There are, already, about a zillion retail photo-printing options available, if you actually need such a thing. Most of the chain pharmacies that used to(possibly still do) offer cheap 35mm processing have a kiosk or two for printing from digital media. They always look a trifle shabby; but the infrastructure is there already, and should retail printing take off in a given market, it'd be cheap and quick for any such location to swap in a slightly nicer kiosk. Office supply places, Fedex/Kinkos, and various other outfits also offer retail printing services(again, while currently rather business-drab, it'd be little more than a firmware update and some new posters if they want to make the process more 'hip'.)

And, for those who don't need instant gratification, pictures on mobile phones are, what, 1-3 seconds away from the internet and its cut-price photo printing services? I'd assume that at least some of them have already released 'apps' to make it easier to order directly from your phone's internal photo storage. If not, they certainly could, and fairly quickly. The various online services onto which photos are commonly uploaded are similarly well placed.

I'm just not seeing where these guys are supposed to fit in a market whose saturation is masked only by customer disinterest...

Re:Desperation is a hell of a drug... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#42498559)

You would have spent less time reading the article, and thereby obviating the need to type what you did, than you did typing out your moronicity.

Re:Desperation is a hell of a drug... (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42498599)

"The basic Polaroid-style printouts will start at about $15 and be ready at the store within five to 10 minutes, Fotobar founder and CEO Warren Struhl told me. Prints on more exotic materials, or with framing and matting, will ship from a manufacturing facility within three days."

As I noticed by reading the article, these guys are offering the same damn thing as their existing competitors. The only onsite capabilities are your basic CVS mini-lab level quick print stuff, albeit with a markup for that iconic polaroid border, and any of the oddities are processed offsite, just like all the online photo finishers who offer all kinds of weird printing options without the trouble of going to a store.

Re:Desperation is a hell of a drug... (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42498603)

necrotic brand

That's a nice phrase. Your invention? I sat here for a couple minutes trying to think of other necrotic brands. Dead and rotting but haven't been entirely excised from culture yet... "SCO"? "Atari"? "CompUSA?"

Re:Desperation is a hell of a drug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499383)

Compaq.

Re:Drug store printing (1)

Technician (215283) | about 2 years ago | (#42498987)

Most drug store printing include online printing. Just look for it. Using Wallgreens for an example because it was mentioned as a typical drugstore offering photo printing. See the upload tab?

http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens/welcome [walgreens.com]

Re:Desperation is a hell of a drug... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 2 years ago | (#42499163)

Dude.

They're opening these shops in Florida. They're not targeting us. They're targetting our parents.

They Should Also Partner with FedEx (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#42498543)

So people have a convenient, in-store way to share these new-fangled "physical" photos with others. And by share, I mean you go down to the store with your phone, they print the photo and hang it on the wall, and give the customer a stack of cards they can FedEx to their friends. The cards will contain the address of the store, so the friends can come visit and see their photo on the wall.

Re:They Should Also Partner with FedEx (1)

hawk (1151) | about 2 years ago | (#42499611)

naah . . . I'll take a picture of that physical thingie with my phone, and send it to my friends . . .

hawk

Polaroid sc1630? (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 2 years ago | (#42498561)

The company has gone through a couple of bankruptcies, and has tried to reinvent itself with a number of less-than-popular products including: an Android powered "smart camera"

Was this referring to the Polaroid sc1630 that was a rebranded Altek Leo / Aigo A8 [engadget.com] device, or the upcoming IM1836 camera?

Crap Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498619)

It would be better to develop an online community around this and offer same day delivery from local printing centers. Think of it like an E-bay of photo related services where people can request certain things such as color correction, red eye removal, clean up, photo manipulation, etc.

Re:Crap Idea (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | about 2 years ago | (#42498771)

That's actually a wicked idea, crowdsourcing Photoshop skills (that many people don't have) in exchange for micropayments. Someone who knows even a little about Photoshop could make a few bucks, and all of us get better quality pictures.

Oblig.. (0)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#42498633)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines [wikipedia.org]
Can we get past this lousy clickbait slashdot? Do we need a new metamoderation system?

Re:Oblig.. (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42498761)

Darn, wish I had mod points right now.

Re:Oblig.. (2)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#42499509)

Long before Betteridge came along, I was taught in journalism school that question marks in headlines are the hallmarks of journalists who lack integrity or proper writing skills.

A properly-constructed article makes every effort to present a balanced, unbiased story and allow the reader to form their own opinions. By using a question mark in the headline, the writer (or editor) is announcing that he has an opinion he wants you to hear and is making a provocation very similar to what we now call trolling. It's polarizing and pushes the reader to close his mind to defend his already-held opinions, regardless of whether the reader wants the answer to the question to be yes or no. Good journalism should open the reader's mind to new ideas and new perspectives. A poor journalist writes articles like opinion pieces, and doesn't even know he's doing it.

For writers, if you find yourself using a question mark in your headline, stop, go get some air, step out of your shoes, come back and re-read what you wrote from someone else's perspective to evaluate whether you are a journalist or an opinionated loudmouth.

For readers, when you see a publication that uses question marks in headlines, take it as a sign that the publication is poorly written, poorly edited, or significantly biased. And if you decide to continue reading it, read it with that information in mind. In this case, this is Slashdot, so you have to apply the "Watermelon Principle." When you eat watermelon, you don't eat the seeds. But you don't throw out the whole watermelon just because you're not going to eat the seeds. You eat the fruit and spit the seeds. Slashdot is kind of like that. So are a lot of things.

Those who fail to learn from history ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498637)

... are doomed to repeat it:

Zapmail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapmail

Printing Photos (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#42498673)

My Mum's photo-mad. She (and my Father and brother) collectively have about $25,000 worth of high-end amateur gear, regularly take classes, and go on photo safaris. Prior to the digital revolution, she had albums upon albums of print photos.

She hasn't printed one now for over 10 years. None of us in my family have. We still get physical photos, but nowadays they're always either large canvas prints for hanging on a wall, or photobooks (like those produced by albumworks and others). The traditional single print? Haven't seen one for a decade. I don't think this is a winning proposition.

This Thinking (1)

hduff (570443) | about 2 years ago | (#42498759)

This thinkng is what doomed them in the first place.

No future for this (1)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#42498823)

If my experience with my 19-year-old granddaughter is any indication, nobody prints photos from cell phones. They get sent to friends or posted to Facebook and that's the end of the line.

Walmart (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#42498907)

Sorry but Walmart and a few stationary stores already do that.

So bad, it sounds like a scam (1)

MrEdofCourse (2670081) | about 2 years ago | (#42498921)

They can't be serious about this?

Over 7 years ago I created a database of places in the US where you could get instant prints (UPS, Fedex/Kinkos, Walmart, CVS, Safeway, pretty much every friggin retail store on every single street). This database was for a photosharing service and we found that, surprise, even 7 years ago, people weren't that interested in printing once they had moved to digital photos. It only gets worse with cell phones.

Most stores even have apps for printing, not just photos, but any documents, from your phone. You can even forward email attachments of file formats that your phone may not have an app for.

Not to mention all of the photo printing and mailing services for phones. Snap a photo, go into the app, choose a print/card/calendar/mug/shirt/poster, select the contact from your address book, and boom...from anywhere, anytime.

The only solution I can think of that this good for is potentially raising "investment money" from people completely out of touch with things. In other words, this idea sounds so bad, it sounds like a scam.

Instant photo still has a place (1)

n2505d (759637) | about 2 years ago | (#42499047)

As an American traveling through Russia on a motorcycle 6 or 7 years ago I took a Polaroid and quite a bit of film. I cannot tell you how great it was at times to take a photo with the locals and hand them a print. End of an era.

Re:Instant photo still has a place (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42499519)

Like this [fujifilm.com] ?

In a word... (1)

jjeffries (17675) | about 2 years ago | (#42499133)

No.

Silly premise to this post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499149)

"The years have not been kind to Polaroid." No kidding since the company that he's talking about no longer exists. Someone bought the name. End of story. It's not Polaroid, it's a new company having nothing to do with Polaroid that uses the brand they purchased from Polaroid's demise.

No, no it wont. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499275)

Physical photos are a thing of the past. The very few people that still print them just go to walmart or someplace like that where they get help from someone to crop and change photos to their desire and then print them for pennies each. Even home photo printing is more expensive because you need the printer, ink is not cheap and you need photo quality paper. And for all the less than tech savvy people its still easier to go a walmart and print them there than doing it at home because at home you dont have a idiot proof system and a person standing there who can help you when you need it.

I dont print pictures. The ones I do want to keep I just store in a folder on my computer that I occasionally back up. If I want to show them to someone I can show them digitally a dozen different ways including on a big ass tv set using my phone or just handing them my phone or emailing them.

I doubt Ill ever print another picture again honestly. In the past decade Ive only owned one new physical photo, and that was on a ski lift in gatlingburg tn that I was on with my girlfriend and she wanted a picture of us together.

Fotobar? (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#42499311)

Leave it to the current zombified incarnation of Polaroid to simultaneously misspell FUBAR and fail at copying Apple's Genius Bar concept.

Bahahaha this is gold (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 2 years ago | (#42499491)

wait... they're serious?

this is unbelievably stupid (1)

gary_7vn (1193821) | about 2 years ago | (#42499585)

These companies are apparently just old, like Kodak, still hanging on to film way past the point it was obvious film was dying. As many have said here today, screens are good and ubiquitous, tabs are going to be $50. No need to print images anymore Polaroid. It sucks anyway, we use too much paper already. Can I print out my emails there too?

preserving POLAROID media (1)

gary_7vn (1193821) | about 2 years ago | (#42499639)

I hope that the images they are hoping to print are going to last longer than the hundreds of pics I took with the then Super-High-Tech SX-70. The images are barely visible now, and they were stored under proper conditions. Polaroid had a good run at it, but they have run out of ideas.

Polaroid Parrot is Deceased (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#42499725)

It's dead, that's what's wrong with it. Polaroid's passed on! This manufacturer is no more! It has ceased to be! 'Polaroid's expired and gone to meet it's maker! It''s a stiff! Bereft of life, Polaroid rests in peace! Michael Land's Polaroid company was auctioned off, and the tradename was purchased by someone in Taipei, I think, or licensed to them. And RCA Victrola too. I don't mind an article about what the Taiwanese tradename owners or licensees are up to, but really it's no more interesting than if Acer, Asus, or Foxconn was doing it, there's none of the continuity implied.

This already exists. (1)

Zadaz (950521) | about 2 years ago | (#42500049)

It's called almost every Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS in the United States. They have little kiosks where you can print from your phone or Facebook or Flickr or SD card or whatever.

And they don't have to support the infrastructure of a whole store by themselves. In fact they don't even have to be particularly profitable since part of the deal is you'll wander the rest of the store and buy stuff while waiting for your prints.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?