I just downloaded Polaroid’s latest product, “Swing”, which is a new iOS camera-app that adds short bursts of video to images. Sure, this concept is quite Similar to Apple’s “Live Photos” functionality – but that is only available on their latest iPhones.
For those iPhone users who have once again found themselves in the dark ages by cellular contracts which have not quite come up for renewal, there is Polaroid Swing. Time will tell if it is a contender of the other video-burst apps that are already available.
FIRST THOUGHTS: So my first thoughts on the app only after having it downloaded for a few hours…
Polaroid Swing is what you might get if iPhone Live Photos and Instagram got together and had a baby. Where iPhone Live Photos takes three seconds of video, the Polaroid Swing app takes one second. Like Instagram, you need to sign up for an account, which is a turn-off to many potential users. You can use your Facebook or Twitter account to sign up – or – use your email address.
Once logged in, you can take your video-burst images and share them on Facebook, Twitter, or copy the link to use later. Polaroid Swing also has a social media aspect, allowing members to follow each other and like posts. As you scroll through the feeds on your phone, the images come to life. Coincidentally, users who have setup their accounts using all of the account profile functionality, create “Living Profiles”.
THE EXPERIENCE: There are currently four filters available to process your final image. I am sure that this will change over time. Toggling through filters is executed by tapping the icon that is presented in the lower left side of the image.
I had taken the app out for a test drive during a morning run to Starbucks. This is when my “real world” usage kicked in. Video bursts can only be recorded in portrait mode. If you like to shoot in landscape orientation, you will find that the video bust has been shot sideways. This takes a little getting use to. Next, you have to have your timing just right. If you are trying to catch that one second moment, you are only allowed one attempt as the app goes to the image immediately after it was shot. It would be great if the app had a setting where you could take consecutive bursts and then select the one that “nails it”.
I have already found myself scrolling through the images in the feed on the app and interacting with them, swiping left then right looking for that perfect moment that would make the perfect still.
And I shall call this, “VIDBURSTOGRAPHY”! or videoburstography…: As a photographer, I struggle with finding an identity or role for video bursts. I love geeking out over technology and have experimented with the concept for some time. It is not photography or videography. I think technology has introduced a new class of media all-together, “vidburstography”. It’s the three words Video-Burst-Photography fused together. Some day, there might even be awards in this new category as it is explored further. Anyway, whatever its called, I see it as something that will be used in advertising.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I am looking forward to experimenting with this media a little more. Time will tell if I take to it. I think people should give it a shot and see what they think. I will write a follow-up article on the subject when I have spent more time with the Polaroid Swing App.
You can download the app at the iTunes store, here
You can find my userID in the community by searching for user id, “photoscott”