Instant Lab turns iPhone photos into real prints

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Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

A new Kickstarter project is aiming to make photo printing from a mobile phone as easy as taking a Polaroid picture.

(Credit: The Impossible Project)

From the creators of The Impossible Project, a group of engineers and photographers who sought to reinvent the instant Polaroid format after its demise in 2008, comes the Instant Lab. It looks like a Polaroid camera, with a bellows attached to the top. The iPhone sits face down in the cradle and a lens helps focus the display on the film in the unit below.

A dedicated app allows for cropping and setting a countdown timer, which will automatically calculate how long the exposure time needs to be for a proper print.

At the moment, it appears as if the Instant Lab is compatible only with the iPhone 4/4S, as there's a specific reference to the Retina display.

Like all Kickstarter projects, the Instant Lab has a minimum amount it needs to reach in order to fund the project — US$250,000. If the project is successful, backers will get 50 per cent off the final retail price and the chance to receive a limited-edition Lab kit.

More excitingly, the Instant Lab is just one of a range of new analog photo gear that will be introduced in 2013. If you're heading to Photokina in Cologne, Germany, this year, make sure to check out the prototypes on display at the Impossible stand.

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