I have fond memories of the old photo booth. Because you rarely needed to use one, perhaps once as a child for your passport, it felt like a treat. You would sit in the booth on your own, the orange concertina curtain behind you, and give your best grown-up face for the camera.
Then there would be a 10-minute wait, and even when the magic machine finally spewed out the strip of photographs, impatient fingers were not allowed to fish them out until the dryer had stopped. The latest booth by Photo-Me, the British company and the world’s leading booth manufacturer, has been designed by Philippe Starck and appears in selected shopping centres on Thursday. The French designer hasn’t changed much about the outside, but inside it is more technologically advanced than ever. The seat – a red plastic pebble that glows – is fixed and the camera adjusts to the user’s height. It has a USB port so you can save your photographs (only the “fun” ones, featuring different backgrounds and effects, not the serious passport photographs which remain the company’s biggest earner), and use the touchscreen to “share” – though in this sense, I prefer “inflict” – photographs on to Facebook and Flickr, and email. Smile!
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