At 80, Polaroid’s new gear embraces the past while eyeing the future

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The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
Photo: Polaroid

CES2017 The iPhone and Instagram get credit for being the first shoot-and-share social network, but even Steve Jobs would say that’s wrong. The Polaroid camera introduced a social component to taking pictures in the late 1940s, the first instant photography with three steps — shoot, shake and share.

Polaroid brought disruptive innovation to the market and also became a casualty of it when it failed to change course in time to be part of the digital photography revolution.

But a new version of Polaroid is thriving and even stirring up some buzz this week at CES in Las Vegas with new products covering iPhone photography, consumer 3D printing, camera drones and fun cameras that produce an on-the-spot print.

Why the iPhone 7 Plus camera is a major milestone

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The iPhone 7 Plus made 2016 a memorable year for photography.
The iPhone 7 Plus made 2016 a memorable year for photography.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac We roll our eyes when Tim Cook introduces a new iPhone and says, “This is the best iPhone ever” each year. But the iPhone 7 Plus will be different.

Sure, ambitious upgrades remain in the pipeline, but the remarkable camera in the iPhone 7 Plus will make this year’s model memorable. Fifty years from now, photography historians will talk about the iPhone 7 Plus they way they do the first Leica or the first Polaroid.