An Instant Camera Using E-Paper As Film

The original Polaroid cameras were a huge hit not just for their instant delivery, but for the convenient size of the permanent images they delivered. It’s something that digital cameras haven’t been able to replicate, which drew [Cameron] to produce a modern alternative. In the place of the chemical film of the original, it uses a removable e-paper display in a frame. The image is stored in the pixels of the e-paper, which can be kept as a digital version of the photograph until reattached and replaced with another freshly taken picture.

At its heart is an ESP32 with a camera, and the “film” is a Waveshare NFC e-paper module. The device is 3D printed, and manages a very creditable early-1970s aesthetic redolent of the more upmarket Polaroids of the day. Using it is as simple as pressing the button and deciding whether you like what’s on the screen. You can see it in action in the video below the break.

We like his project for its aesthetics, as well as for the very idea of using e-paper as a medium. There’s also something to be said for not having to put a Polaroid print in a clip under your armpit while it develops. Meanwhile if you do hanker for the real thing, it’s a subject we’ve looked at in the past.

16 thoughts on “An Instant Camera Using E-Paper As Film

  1. This is one of the few niche art-tech things that I think really has potential. e-ink will get cheaper, thinner, and have better color eventually, so maybe someday we might really give people digital postcards that they can read off with an NFC and archive for the memories, overwrite, and send to someone else.

    1. I mean Best Buy and other stores have already started replacing price tags with mini eink displays. With full color eink just starting to become commercially available, I think it’ll start showing up I’m more niche markets like this.

          1. well, I can see kits at 80$ for 10 “reprintable” photo… that’s not cheap, but that’s not like 60$ per photo on some tinkerer e-ink toys… that’s close to 10 times cheaper than this…

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