The Impossible Project: Bringing Back Polaroid

Typical Components in Instant Film

Like many things designed for consumer simplicity, the Polaroid Instant Film is a fairly complex piece of technology, with about 20 individual components in each pack.

Production of this complex technology ceased in 2008, but with the recent resurgence of analog photography, The Impossible Project purchased one of the Dutch factories and are now aiming to streamline the manufacturing process to produce a new, hi-tech Instant Film. You may have already heard of the project with the recent release of the final batch of old film through Urban Outfitters.

The team are using the power of the internet to aid their quest, asking for public answers to their difficult problems, such as the fifth of their seven big challenges:

We urgently need Latex that can easily be coated on gelatin base. Thickness of the dried layer is about 2 micron. The developer used in instant film is a viscous solution, containing 2N alkaline.

The team say they have exactly 12 months to complete their mission, and from the look of the countdown clock on the website, the time runs out at the end of 2009.

Polaroid Instant Film illustration copyright The Impossible Project.

Dan Zambonini

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Dan Zambonini is a co-founder at Eighty-Five Technologies Inc. Their most recent project is Docoh - SEC EDGAR Filings Search. He wrote A Practical Guide to Web App Success, the leading web application book. You can usually find him twittering on about something on Twitter at @zambonini.