The inevitability of this camera doesn’t make it any less surprising: Polaroid is set to launch a “smart” camera running Android, and with Wi-Fi inside. The camera–which looks a lot like a cellphone with a big lens attached–will pack a 16MP sensor, a 3x optical zoom lens and a touch-screen display.
It’s a very smart move from Polaroid, a company which has been flailing around for a purpose since film died. The cellphone camera is in many ways the spiritual successor to the iconic instant photos, so why not get in on the action? Phones might not have the image quality of the best compacts, but you can share and edit your photos right there, something cameras have been unable to do. Until now.
You can of course load on any camera app you like (apart from the iPhone-only Instagram), but Polaroid seems to have put some effort into its own camera app. 18 scene modes are joined by smile and face detection, geo-tagging, editing and automatically organized photo albums.
And because the SC1630 Smart Camera runs Wi-Fi and not 3G, you won’t be forced to sign up for yet another data plan. It’s a lot like an iPod Touch with a good camera.
The Smart Camera will launch later in 2012, price yet to be decided.