Polaroid Takes On New Camera Licensees
By Greg Tarr On Jan 30 2012 - 6:01am
LAS VEGAS —
International CES proved to be an interesting
venue in the evolution and growth of the vaunted
Polaroid brand within the imaging industry.
Although the show didn’t offer up any announcements
about or visits from Lady Gaga as it did the past two years,
this year’s show introduced a new Polaroid-branded
“smart camera” along with some new licensees handling
different aspects of the famous trademark for cameras in
the U.S. and other territories.
For clarification, the PLR IP Holdings LLC (owned
by Gordon Bros. Brands, Hilco Consumer Capital and
Knight Bridge Capital Partners) has licensed the Polaroid
brand to C&A for use on anything related to instant cameras
including cameras, film and new instant digital technologies,
including Zero Ink (Z-ink) products.
That license extends to those areas “pretty much around
the world,” explained Scott Hardy, PLR IP Holdings CEO.
C&A also markets lines of photo accessories under the
At CES, another Polaroid camera licensee, called AMW,
was introduced. AMW is the brand’s largest licensee for a
wide range of products in Latin American territories.
Hardy said AMW has the right to use its license to the
Polaroid brand in the U.S. on Android-based smart cameras,
including the just-introduced model SC1630.
“The product is just so unique in that it is a connectivity
product,” Hardy said, explaining AMW’s U.S. market
niche for the brand. “It’s Android based, and that would be
the key distinctive feature as a connected camera.”
The camera is billed as the first Android-based camera
combining a 3G-ready Android smart-connect platform
with an advanced digital point-and-shoot.
Due to ship in the second quarter at a price to be announced,
the smart-connect camera measures 111.9mm
high, 56.9mm wide and 15.5mm deep and weighs 140
grams with the battery. It is based on the Android 2.3.4 or
above platform, and is listed as supporting the WCDMA/
GSM/HSDPA/HSUPA (3G) cell services and Wi-Fi.
Listed specs would be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile
services, but no carrier deals have yet been announced.
The device features a 3.2-inch (800 by 400 resolution)
capacitive touchscreen LCD. Like most Android phones,
there are built-in Bluetooth and GPS features. It also includes
FM radio tuning.
The SC1630 features 16-megapixel still resolution and
will store images and multimedia files to 512MB of internal
RAM/ROM. It adds an expansion slot for MicroSD memory
cards (up to 32GB).
Features include a hot key for image/video uploading
to device albums and online-photo albums through Facebook,
Flickr, Picasa and YouTube. There are also such
photo-editing tools as a cross filter (starburst), adaptive
lighting, digital filter, brightness filter, red-eye compensation,
frame composition, and in-camera cropping, resizing
The phone will also support other multimedia
file formats, including MP3, AAC, HEAAC,
WMA, MP4 and 3GP.
Just before CES, PLR IP Holdings also
announced that it had reached a deal with
camera vendor Sakar International, which
now markets cameras in the U.S. under
the Vivitar brand among other trademarks,
to market Polaroid-branded digital still and
Sakar is a major supplier of value-driven
cameras and camcorders to Walmart and
photo/CE accounts and discount chains.
“Sakar is our exclusive licensee for digital
still cameras and digital video cameras in the
Americas,” Hardy explained.
“The Polaroid brand is among the most
recognizable in the world, and this agreement
gives us an opportunity to leverage that
brand recognition to develop digital cameras
and digital high-definition camcorders
with unique feature sets,” stated Jeff Saka,
Hardy added that while AMW has the right
to a specific niche of Android connected cameras
in the U.S., Sakar International would not
be precluded from introducing a camera connected
by other means, such as Wi-Fi.
Hardy also pointed out that it would not be
unusual for different licensees to also team
up on product development and marketing
for certain technologies.