It wasn’t until the last decade that stand-alone cameras became nearly obsolete. Unless you were a professional photographer, or an old-fashioned Polaroid loving hipster, people failed to see the value in a handheld camera after the introduction of the smartphone. And Polaroid felt the effects of new technology replacing their once-great device. By 2010, Polaroid had declared bankruptcy twice and was only a company in name. Gone are the days of the One Step and Land Camera and if a youngster was to see a true Polaroid camera today, they would probably think it was a 3-D rendition of the Instagram logo.
Despite the decline of the stand-alone camera, Polaroid refuses to go down without a fight. And their final one-two punch comes in the form of the adorably bite-sized Cube. With design assistance from the San Francisco based Ammunition, the Polaroid Cube aims to be the action cam for the whole fam. The Cube was designed with the original brand ideals in mind, with a focus on fun, simplicity, instant gratification, and socialization.
The primary competition for the Cube is the ever-adventurous GoPro. But the Cube does not want to touch GoPro’s target demographic of wild adventure seekers who fling themselves off perfectly good cliffs. Polaroid has set their sights on the everyday photo appreciator who wants a camera they can throw around (literally). The camera is as small as a piece of candy in your hand, and is surrounded by a smooth rubber, making it water and toddler proof.
The tiny Cube was first introduced at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Shows, with great positive feedback. The cute Cube is a tactile experience that begs to be picked up and played with. The camera is capable of recoding 1080p video and taking up to five-megapixel photos. With only one button, the camera is extremely easy to use. Tap once to begin recording, and tap again to stop. A quick plug-in to the computer allows users to download their video and images.
So how does a camera find its way back into the world when it was so brutally kicked out? By providing functionality that smartphones cannot. The opportunity for Polaroid presented itself in the fact that our smartphones are our lives, and far too valuable to have out and about in certain situations where harm could fall upon them. Enter the nearly indestructible Cube, with a soft cushion rubber outside. The camera can be outfitted with protective barriers that make it waterproof or a magnet on the bottom that allows the camera to be slapped on to any magnetic surface.
Polaroid has a fighting chance at bringing their brand back to life because they were able to recognize a gap in the marketplace for a family-friendly version of the GoPro. With a tiny product that is indestructible, affordable, and fun to use, Polaroid may just be able to come back to life.