The Instant Lab transforms any digital image via your smartphone or tablet into an instant photo. The digital image is exposed on instant film using only the light from the display, then processed and developed by chemicals.
This innovative idea was funded by a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012.
The Instant Lab Universal, introduced in the first quarter of 2015, is compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems and features a larger ‘flatbed’ cradle with touch location technology.
The Instant Lab Universal works completely differently to a digital printer. It is an analog photographic tool, but needs to be operated with a smartphone and the Impossible Project App.
When the smartphone or the tablet is placed on the cradle, the digital image is exposed through the four element, high-quality, coated glass lens and projected onto the instant film that is inserted in the Instant Lab. The App will control the exposure time and the brightness of the screen.
During the exposure, the shutter located at the back of the Instant Lab needs to be opened to allow the light to be projected on the film. The image reaches the transparent film cover sheet, creating a latent image on the silver halide emulsion in the negative.
Once the shutter is closed, the image can be ejected from the Instant Lab. On its way towards exiting the Instant Lab, it passes between rollers, rupturing the pod within the border of the film. The pod contains reagent that is squeezed from it and evenly spread between the negative and transparent cover sheet.
Once out of the Instant Lab, the exposed photo begins the development process. During development instant film goes through essentially the same chemical process as conventional wet-process photographic development. The difference with instant print film is that the chemical process all happens with a single solution, automatically.
After a few minutes, the image is no longer trapped behind a screen. The resulting analog instant image is fully developed and can then be shared or displayed! Of course, you can also share your results on the Impossible's online gallery and other social media channels.