When Polaroid announced that it had appointed Lady GaGa as its creative director, most of us groaned and rolled our eyes at what we thought was just another shallow pop star endorsement. However, the company has followed through with the partnership and this year at CES 2011, Lady G herself was on hand to introduce the new products she had helped design.
The gadgets come together to form what Polaroid has dubbed the Grey Label line. Today, Polaroid and Lady GaGa (real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) introduced the first three Grey Label products, and we’re actually kind of impressed.
The more pedestrian of the lot is a portable printer that you can use to print photos from your digital camera or smartphone. It uses Polaroid cartridges, so the resulting prints will look like retro pictures we all remember from yesteryear, and connects to mobile devices either via USB or Bluetooth. When it ships, there'll be an Android app that will allow you to add filters and borders to images. Apple iPhone users will be disappointed to learn that the printer is incompatible with their phone, a problem Lady GaGa says lies with Apple and not Polaroid.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Polaroid event without a plain old Polaroid camera, so the company took the wraps off one of those too. However, though it's more true to Polaroid tradition than the other products unveiled this afternoon, there's a bit of a modern twist in there, too: the camera features a screen so you can see the photos before deciding to print them.
The most interesting piece of equipment to come out of Lady GaGa’s partnership with Polaroid is a pair of sunglasses that double as a digital camera.
"This is the first ever pair of sunglasses that can be worn out to protect your eyes from the sun and they can also take pictures," said GaGa, explaining that she had the idea for them when she did her Fame Ball tour; she constructed something similar out of iPod screens that she had strung together. The Polaroid glasses store captured photographs and video clips on a chip in the earpiece of the glasses, and the two built-in 1.7-inch OLED displays built into the eyepieces can also display images and video.
“Polaroid really let me put my hands in there and design this s--- myself," she said, thanking the company for actually taking her seriously.
Pricing for the glasses and camera (dubbed the GL20 and GL30, respectively) isn’t yet available, but the company is supposedly shooting for a Holiday 2011 release. The portable printer (model name the Polaroid GL10), on the other hand, will retail for $149.99 and hit shelves in April.