The Gadget: The Polaroid PoGo, an inkless printer that prints 2" x 3" sticker pictures from digital cameras via USB and cellphones over Bluetooth.
The Price: $150 for the unit, 30-packs of photo paper cost $10.
The Verdict: Though, like you, I wasn't totally sure about the PoGo, after using it, I was surprised at how promising and unique the little gadget is. It solves the biggest problem with taking pictures on cellphones, the fact that you can't look at them anywhere besides your phone. The credit-card size prints look decent enough for what they are (though in Wilson's expert opinion, they're still "lousy"). It prints using Zink, an inkless technology that uses photo paper with billions of colorless dye crystals in CMY layers that change color when activated by heat. This means that the pictures are dry as soon as they develop, and you NEVER replace ink or toner cartridges. The prints are also waterproof, tear and fade resistant, and have an adhesive backing so you can stick them anywhere.
Another great thing about the PoGo is its portability. Its a little larger than a deck of cards, so if you've got pockets, you can take it around. It also connects to phones via Bluetooth so you don't have to worry about cords. We easily paired it via Bluetooth connection to a year-old, mainstream LG phone from Verizon, though it isn't compatible with every phone—Polaroid says it works with about 70% of Bluetooth-enabled phones out today. I asked them about iPhone compatibility-they said not this one.
There are a few things holding me back from totally loving the PoGo. First of all, it's slow. The process from phone to picture took 60-75 seconds, which makes printing in the moment a little less exciting. Secondly, the Li-ion battery only lasts for 15 prints, and takes two hours to charge back up. It can print while it's charging which is nice, but that really takes away from the mobility factor.
Finally, I'm not sure I would use this on a long-term basis. The product guys said to use it in a bar to pick up ladies, but I don't know how many ladies would want stickers of me-at least, not right away. It seems like a fun fad, but when I showed it to Wilson, he couldn't wait to print pictures of his baby. High school kids, too, could probably find ongoing use for its sticker prints. There may be a wider appeal, even if I'm not the target demo.
The PoGo is a fun toy for now, and with a few tweaks and improvements, it could bring practicality and excitement back to printed pictures for a guy like me. [PoGo]