Impossible Instant Lab iPhone photo booth hands-on (video)

Life's hard when you're an analog enthusiast in the early 21st century. Thankfully, however, you're not alone in this world -- there are fellow travelers like the folks behind The Impossible Project, folks who bought a Polaroid factory to continue production on the company's famed instant film. As we noted roughly a week ago, the company's also launched a Kickstarter to create an iPhone-friendly gadget to go along with it. It's since handily met its goal and is still chugging along at around $440,000 (from a proposed $250,000), with a full 19 days to go. The company also made an appearance on the show floor here at Photokina to show off what its been working on.

The Impossible Instant Lab is still in the prototype stages, as with a number of devices we've seen here today -- though it's fully operational. We got a demo of the thing from one of the folks at Impossible -- just load the film into the rollers on the bottom, extend the old timey accordion top, choose the proper settings in the company's iPhone app and place it in the holder.

Right now, the company's only got an iPhone 4 holder (created with a 3D printer), though they plan to ship it with one for an iPhone 5. Impossible's also looking into other handsets and currently has a poll on its Kickstarter page where you can vote for ones you'd like to see. Given the number of Android handsets floating around, it's not really possible (read: Impossible) for the company to appease everyone, especially since the length of the device's neck needs to be altered based on the phones' screens, meaning they can't just make a modular holder.

The lens inside the device picks up the light from the camera's screen. Once the process is finished, the phone's flash will be trigger and the rollers will spit out the photo. You'll have to shield the photo from the light for a bit to ensure that it comes out properly. In fact, there are a lot of things that can go wrong in there -- in our demo, the photo apparently wasn't held away from the lights for long enough and came out undeveloped. When everything goes right, however, you've got a perfect little Polaroid-style photo. There's still time left to pledge on Kickstarter. $229 will get you a device before its planned February release. When it hits retail, it'll run $299. Pricey, but man, it's pretty darn cool -- and it's easily the coolest thing we've seen at Photokina thus far.

Steve Dent contributed to this report.