Called Fotobars, Polaroid said that it intends to open at least ten such stores in 2013, the first one of which will test the consumer's interest in such an offering in Delray Beach, Florida, in February. Future store locations 2013 include New York, Las Vegas and Boston.
"There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones," said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO of Fotobar, in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that."
Polaroid said that the stores will use a "patent-pending proprietary technology will allow in-store customers to select their favorite pictures on their camera phones and wirelessly transmit them to one of the store’s bar-top workstations for quick and hassle-free ordering within seconds." And before you ask, yes, the platform also allows users to upload pictures from Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa. The Fotobar's workstations then enable users to enhance pictures using "bar-top workstations" and adjust "contrast, red-eye correction, brightness and filters showing users the outcome as they work". Inexperienced users will be able to seek advice from "Phototenders", described as "passionate photo enthusiasts" who are "trained to help guide customers through the process from start to finish."
The stores will make money by allowing customers to choose from "a wide variety of materials, substrates and framing options for their individual works of art". However, their work will not be available right away, but will be "shipped worldwide to the consumer in just a few days".