Transform Digital Images into Analog Instant Photos in Seconds


The Impossible Instant Lab device lets users turn photos from their iPhone or iPod touch into Polaroid-like photos.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 24 july 2014

Bridging the gap between the digital and the analog, The Impossible Instant Lab is a device that turns the digital images from a user’s smartphone into analog instant photographs that resemble those well-loved iconic Polaroids.

Developed by Berlin, Germany-based creative company The Impossible Group, the Instant Lab was successfully funded via Kickstarter back in October of 2012. The campaign was one of the most successful projects on the crowdfunding platform. The Instant Lab was officially launched in August the year after.

The Instant Lab works with the Impossible Project iOs app, which allows users to edit, crop, and set the exposure times for the photos. The Impossible Project app also lets users scan their instant photos. The app is available for free for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The Instant Lab is not exactly a photo printer and instead works like a camera. It uses a photographic process that involves light, optics, and chemicals to expose analog instant photos from the user’s smartphone to Polaroid-format film.

To transform a digital image into an instant photo with the Instant Lab, the user just has to open the Impossible Project app and select a digital image. The user can edit the image if they want. After editing, the user can now expand the Instant Lab’s tower until it clicks into position and then place their iPhone facedown on the cradle at the top of the tower. The phone lights up to signal that it’s time to pull out the slide at the base of the device. The app exposes the user’s selected image on the film and when the light goes off the user can push the slide back into the base, push the button and watch as the Instant Lab ejects the instant photo. The user then just has to wait for their Polaroid-esque photo to develop.


The Instant Lab tower collapses back into place to make the device portable and easy to carry around. The device works with all Impossible integral analog instant film.

Watch the video above to see how the Instant Lab works.

The Impossible Project

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