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Insert Coin: Impossible Instant Lab makes iPhone photos tangible

Jon Fingas , @jonfingas

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Going back to a physical medium isn't just for vinyl lovers. The Impossible Project (TIP) wants to make our iPhone photos equally concrete through its extra-simple Impossible Instant Lab. Don't worry about setting up AirPrint or otherwise jumping through software hoops: the Lab captures the screen and prints it to Polaroid-compatible instant film as a keepsake. The design is even collapsible and battery-powered in the event you'd like to hand out hard copies on the spot. It's no hobbyist effort, either, with a Leica designer and a former Polaroid factory both involved in making the Lab a reality. TIP is planning to move beyond its initial iPhone 4 and 4S support to include future iPhones and, if all goes well, more commonplace Android hardware.

Investing in this Kickstarter project sidesteps novelties like t-shirts in favor of the real product -- and provides a very strong incentive to buy early. Backers quick on the trigger can pay as little as $149 for a Lab with a voucher for free film, or about half the $299 retail price. Pay the full cost and you'll get a special black version with an extra voucher, while $2,000 will provide both a gold edition and a trip to the ex-Polaroid factory in Enschede, The Netherlands. Cameras could be in retro photographers' hands as soon as February, but only if TIP reaches its $250,000 funding goal by October 8th. If your parents would like a little more than a Facebook photo gallery as a souvenir, or Instagram just isn't nostalgic enough, you can hit the source link to show support and make the Instant Lab real.

Previous project update: It's only been a few days since we looked, so it's not surprising that the MG gaming handheld still has awhile to go to meet its $950,000 target. However, there's just over two weeks left -- if you'd like the idea of a phone-free Android handheld for gaming, now's the time to pledge some cash.