Insert Coin: Impossible Instant Lab makes iPhone photos tangible

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.

Insert Coin Impossible Instant Lab

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.