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Businesses Printer

Can Fotobar Make Polaroid Relevant Again? 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."
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Can Fotobar Make Polaroid Relevant Again?

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  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:43PM (#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.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:54PM (#42498531) Journal

    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...

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.