Failed Manufacturer Polaroid Enters Surveillance

By John Honovich, Published May 19, 2013, 08:00pm EDT (Info+)

Polaroid is one of the most spectacular failures of the century and has become, quite literally, a case study in failure. Now, after two bankruptcies, and partnering with Lady Gaga [link no longer available], Polaroid is targeting the surveillance market. In this note, we examine the positioning of their surveillance products and the potential for success.

Polaroid's Surveillance Offering

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Comments (42)

Reminds me of back in the day when Cisco announced they were going to be entering (and inevitably taking over) the global IP surveillance market.

Its way less intimidating than Cisco...

Rumor has it that Polaroid dealers will be called "Little Monsters" and get early access to Lady Gaga's new albums.

I'm looking forward to viewing the instant prints as they come out of the slot in the back of their cameras. I hope I don't still have to use that goofy stick to coat them.

So do you have to shake the camera to adjust focus or not? #HeyYa!

Really, where else do they have to go?

After Lady Gaga, how much worse can it get?

When you are in the gutter, there is nowhere to go but up or all the way down the sewer.

RIP Polaroid... My SX-70 and One Step were really freaking cool in the late '70's and early '80's. Then again so was the Rubik's Cube and my hair.

Kinda with John G here - while utterly useless by today's standards, Polaroid cameras were the shizznit in their day; I don't think there was ever anything even close to similar on the market (still isn't to this day, for that matter, until someone figures out how to effectively embed a mini dye-sub printer into a digital camera).

I don't know that I'd call them "failed" so much as just... WELL past their prime.

I cannot imagine, as John indicates, anything but OEM'd products from unknown sub-par manufactures or 'knock-off' cameras being offered at sub discount prices.

I did love Polaroid back in the day. Who knows?

"Developed by C&A Licensing LLC, an authorized Polaroid licensee, the Polaroid IP security cameras are competitively priced from $79.99- $129.99 and are available now at target.com and Polaroidstore.com."

Polaroid announces consumer IP line

Gonna be hard to protect dealers when a potential customer thinks he can just go down to Target or buy direct.

What is the target market for Polaroid? Commerical or residential?

So, for clarity's sake, Polaroid already has some IP cameras, which are targeted at residential. That's what's on their website now, and it's been around for awhile (years, maybe). That gear isn't the subject of this new release. It's a different line.

Also, Matt, they filed for bankruptcy in 2001, reorganized, and then filed for bankruptcy again in 2008. I'd qualify that as failed!

I wasn't trying to cause confusion, but just point out that it may be a challenge for integrators who are trying to sell a product line that has a similar purposed [secuirty] consumer line readily avaiable at retail outlets. You, I and most eveyrone here knows the differance. Clients most often do not and it's one more challenge that professional integrators don't need.

I'm holding out for the new Kodak line.

From Polaroid HQ: "The IP security line we announced at CES 2013 is more for home security or small businesses applications. This new line is more for large enterprise with CCTV options."

I recently spoke to one of the people running this new exciting venture & I asked them, "Didn't Polaroid go bankrupt years ago in 2001?" the person replied, "Yes, it's a great conversation starter..."

Sounds like they would be in the same position as Canon or D'Link, a mix of readily available consumer products along with commercial products. In an already saturated CCTV camera market, I can't see them making it either unless marketing and engineering execute like Micheal Jordan on the basketball court. They're not even the same company anymore. According to Wikipedia, the original company is a shell with no employees and the name was sold to someone else.

It's an interesting question, what is the value of the 'Polaroid' name? Evidently some people think it's enough to build a company around it.

Perhaps DEC will jump into the surveillance storage space?

After DEC will come Wang... :)

Then Tandy...

Could have fin resurrecting all of the great tech companies of the 80's and 90's that were powerhoses and are shadows and dust now and slap a camera label on them.

It wouldn't suprise me to start seeing Kenmore surveillance cameras soon.

polaroids cameras look strikingly similar to dahua...

Keefe, thanks for sharing the photo. That's a fairly generic looking dome!

yes it is... i posted it to support your oem thought in the article...

Both PolaroidUSA.com and PolaroidInternational.com show the same landing page for their new 'enterprise-level' product line launch, and an all-but empty product link page exists on the latter domain (link below).

While no products are listed under anything but Network Recorders (until June or July, depending on the specific press release/industry mag story), I noticed something when I clicked on each of the 3 NVRs shown here.

First of all, the wording sounds like it was written by a non-native english speaker. Not blatantly like we sometimes see, but the nuances are there.

Also, notice that the middle NVR says '3D intelligent positioning with Polaroid PTZ camera', but the one on the left says '3D intelligent positioning with Dahua PTZ camera'.

Hmmm...

Nice find. Oh brother!

Polaroid spoke with SSN. A few points of interest:

  • Sales push in July - Simply the worst time of year to do so with so many people on vacation.
  • Claims 40 employees, 'mostly product developers and engineers' - which is still incredibly low for a company with a broad range of analog and IP cameras, VMS software, video analytics, etc.
  • Ceiling of 100 integrators in North America, 40 spots already taken - hurry now!

Polaroid tells SIW that "The brand name is trusted and respected, so when a sales person goes out to speak to an end user, they can walk with confidence knowing that the end user will know and trust the brand."

This will be interesting to see. There must be some people who will, it's just not clear how many will versus those will lead with "Didn't you go out of business?"

""The brand name is trusted and respected..."

They do realize it's not 1979 anymore, right?

This has been going on for years in Consumer Electronics. Brands like Sylvania (a name purchased by Philips and later licensed to Funai, who also manufactures products under the Philips, Magnavox, Emerson Radio and Symphonic names), Fisher (purchased by Sanyo) and Zenith (LG, who also was known as Goldstar).

Foreign companies, particularly little-known Asian manufacturers, have been buying up failed U.S. brand names since the 50's. Even the giant Panasonic (Matsushita) started importing their products under the "National" brand at a time when Japanese electronics products were considered to be "junk" in the U.S..

My grandmother would observe "lipstick on a pig is still a pig!"

I agree with Marty. There are subtle hints of imperfect English. This isn't a bad thing, but it does present one flag of concern. When a company wishes to do business in security, it needs to trade on reliability, trust and a sense of understanding their market. Using this grade of English for a company which desires to do business in the US is a mistake in my opinion. There is a general sense of a "freshman effort" here which is evident and pervasive thouout their website which itself is developed out of a small, NY family shop. The general style of the text seems to be the type that is written by younger or inexperienced marketing types.

I have nothing against an eager start-up, and I have been a part of several. I will continue to be cautious and somewhat skeptical for this Polaroid deal though. The overall impression I get here is this... someone or some group which owned the Polaroid name decided that they could pick up some inexpensive surveillence gear and make an OEM deal promising that the Polaroid branding was somehow still alive. In order to add to the hype, they bought some Lady Gaga which added zero credibility or stability, but might have been seen as a way to show a synergy with a big name. Toss in an outsourced, small, web development effort, amaturish marketing copy and some ramped up tradeshow verbiage, and you get what you see here.

Perhaps they will create a great new set of products or a new way of thinking on security, however, with the way things look now...their team is a non-team, which inspires no confidence. It just appears like some investors were looking to get quick cash from investors and then dump out. I am seeing no homogenized long-term view; no real serious long term strategic partners and no mention of industry expertise. They could have made better choices. They would do better bragging about the outstanding hires they should have made from the immense pool of well qualified security directors, integrators and distribution executives.

If they have hired a security market expert to help guide their decisions, it isn't evident.

The experience so far leaves me with one adjective...shady.

Dave

I agree with Marty. There are subtle hints of imperfect English. This isn't a bad thing, but it does present one flag of concern. When a company wishes to do business in security, it needs to trade on reliability, trust and a sense of understanding their market. Using this grade of English for a company which desires to do business in the US is a mistake in my opinion. There is a general sense of a "freshman effort" here which is evident and pervasive thouout their website which itself is developed out of a small, NY family shop. The general style of the text seems to be the type that is written by younger or inexperienced marketing types.

I have nothing against an eager start-up, and I have been a part of several. I will continue to be cautious and somewhat skeptical for this Polaroid deal though. The overall impression I get here is this... someone or some group which owned the Polaroid name decided that they could pick up some inexpensive surveillence gear and make an OEM deal promising that the Polaroid branding was somehow still alive. In order to add to the hype, they bought some Lady Gaga which added zero credibility or stability, but might have been seen as a way to show a synergy with a big name. Toss in an outsourced, small, web development effort, amaturish marketing copy and some ramped up tradeshow verbiage, and you get what you see here.

Perhaps they will create a great new set of products or a new way of thinking on security, however, with the way things look now...their team is a non-team, which inspires no confidence. It just appears like some investors were looking to get quick cash from investors and then dump out. I am seeing no homogenized long-term view; no real serious long term strategic partners and no mention of industry expertise. They could have made better choices. They would do better bragging about the outstanding hires they should have made from the immense pool of well qualified security directors, integrators and distribution executives.

If they have hired a security market expert to help guide their decisions, it isn't evident.

The experience so far leaves me with one adjective...shady.

Dave

The COO of the manufacturer they have partnered with is also listed as VP of the new Polaroid. Seems a rather tight knit group. We wish every startup success but for this one the clouds on the horizon appear ominous. Now, where did I park my Bricklin?

Years ago Polariod tried an entry into the industrial video marketplace with cameras, DVD recorders and the like, They hired a lot of people, put on a lot of regional shows and took orders from integrators, They also hired rep firms to lauch, In the weeks leading up to the launch they fired every rep firm and shipped product, not paying the reps. I believe they lasted about a year in that industry before pulling up their stakes and moving on.

Mark, so what you are really saying is that it's all uphill now for Polaroid? ;)

I can't recall any new surveillance entrant that has been as widely dismissed as Polaroid.

Wow, between Polaroid and Elvis the Chinese spammer, it looks like a toss-up for IPVM Miss Congeniality... ;-P

...smells like taiwanese...

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Still waiting on the first camera test?

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What made you think of this? Lol, they failed pretty fast here.

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Gotta give credit to the brand name. It made this story stick in the back of my head and come up from time to time.

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Lol, they failed pretty fast here.

They’re still “in the picture”:

 

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Wow, I'll give them credit for the design aesthetics. Very Apple like.

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