Swing lets you capture one second and turn it into a photo
It's hard to imagine how far Polaroid has fallen as a company.
Right up there with Kodak, it was the King of photography until smartphones came along with better cameras and ways of sharing them without using paper.
Polaroid is mostly a legacy name now, coasting on nostalgia, but a new app is hoping to bring some love back for the brand.
Called Swing, the app captures a single second of video and turns it into a moving image, essentially a GIF. You control the movement though by swiping your finger across the screen or, as the name suggests, by swinging your phone in your hand. On a computer screen, you can just move your mouse over it to see the effect.
Opening the app first, you immediately feel like you're in Instagram. It's a familiar layout, scrolling photos, a little bit of text underneath, but then you see them gently move, a novel feature.
But it doesn't feel enough to be it's own little social network.
Looking at the moving photos, it feels like a cool new feature that Facebook or Instagram have introduced that will be forgotten very quickly.
Sharing is key for photos online, and Swing hasn't cracked that yet because of it needed particular support for the photo to move. When you share it on Twitter or Facebook, it gives you a link rather than the actual picture.
Instagram does the same with Twitter, but at least the photo appears on Facebook. Swing is stuck in its own little world, away from other photos.
You have to admire how well the app is made and how well the effect is done. The movement in the photo is very smooth and there are plenty of situations where you could capture the moment much better with this than a single frame of a photo.
But is it too little too late from Polaroid, again? It feels that way.
If this app came out minus the Polaroid name, it would have the same level of interest and the same results. It might actually be better for it, as it wouldn't come packaged with a lot of nostalgia or memories that frankly don't relate to it.
Swing is a lovely experience and a very good idea, but it's hard to see it take off too much. Another app just swinging by.
Polaroid Swing is available on the iPhone App Store now.