Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

No Launch Date in Sight for Polaroid’s Lady Gaga Goggles

At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, pop phenomenon Lady Gaga attracted papa-paparazzi and gawkers as she unveiled the fruits of her creative and promotional partnership with Polaroid at the electronics company’s booth.

It made a splash then, but two of the three products featured by Gaga at January’s CES — a digital camera and a pair of camera-glasses — still haven’t made it to market.

And it’s unclear if one of them ever will.

The glasses, called the GL20 Camera Glasses (GL indicates the Lady Gaga “Grey Label” brand), were introduced alongside the GL10 Instant Mobile Bluetooth printer and the GL30 Instant Digital camera, which is designed in the style of old Polaroid cameras.

The printer became available for preorder in May, as planned, although it was listed at $20 more than Polaroid’s original $150 target price for retail. Polaroid Chief Technology Officer Jon Pollock explained in July that the company, like many electronics companies, has faced supply problems due to the massive earthquake in Japan.

The GL30 camera is now scheduled to launch in retail outlets in 2012. Citing consumer demand for the Gaga-hyped camera, Polaroid in November introduced the Z340 Instant Digital Camera, which has similar features and capabilities, as an alternative.

But the Gaga goggles — which were arguably the coolest element, capturing images and instantly uploading them to the device’s LCD lenses for display — still haven’t made it to market. Polaroid had previously said the gadget would arrive in the third or fourth quarter of this year at an undetermined price.

Polaroid has declined to offer insight into the delay, or to say whether store shelves will ever see the glasses. A spokeswoman for the company issued the following statement: “Polaroid and Lady Gaga are looking forward to giving consumers even more ways to restore creativity to images, both digital and printed, with additional Grey Label products in the near future. As the GL20 Camera Glasses are unlike anything seen before, additional time is needed to ensure that consumers will receive a product that exceeds expectations.”

A representative for Lady Gaga declined to comment.

To be fair, it’s not uncommon for products unveiled at CES to come to market later than expected. But for Polaroid, the delays are another ding in its armor as it struggles in the face of new digital-imaging technologies. The company has said it hoped the installment of Lady Gaga as creative director two years ago would give Polaroid a needed boost in terms of creativity and innovation.

People close to the situation have said that Lady Gaga has been “very involved” in the design and creation of the Grey Label gadgets. But, in this case, it seems that even superstar status can’t propel a product to market.

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