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New Polaroid photo app transforms your images into moving moments

Polaroid is taking a swing at social networking with a new photography app that lets you create and share moving images akin to Apple Live Photos.

Polaroid Swing, as it’s known, is a collaboration between tech startup Swing (whose chairman is Twitter co-founder Biz Stone) and the Polaroid brand, owned by PLR Inc.

The aim is to take on existing photo and video-sharing giants Instagram (which boasts a similar product in the form of Boomerang) and Vine. The latter’s six-second video loops may seem like an eternity compared to Swing’s one-second moving images.

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Despite carrying the iconic Polaroid brand name it will be a tough fight for Swing to carve out a niche in an already saturated marketplace that has seen its fair share of failed products. The app is more than just an attempt to cash in on the nostalgia associated with Polaroid, and its historic standing as a trailblazer in the field of instant photography.

In its favor, Polaroid Swing boasts a clean user interface, the aforementioned social sharing functions (plus the ability to share your posts on external social networks, such as Facebook, and Twitter), and some nifty gesture controls. The latter is its defining feature, allowing you to transform your still images into moving photos with the swing of your wrist. The same motion control is applied to the highlights reel, which also lets you develop new photos with a white flash, an homage to Polaroid’s traditional cameras.

Aside from Stone, the app also lays claim to a renowned development team, including Cole Rise (the man behind Instagram’s early filters, and much-loved original logo), who now serves as an artist in residence for Polaroid Swing. The app itself boasts four filters, which were likely the work of Rise. Additionally, Swing’s R&D lab is jam packed full of tech talent, among them a team of former Apple engineers, and computer vision experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stone himself had some big words for his latest project, comparing it to the social media giant he helped establish. “Polaroid Swing has the potential to change the way we think about images, just like Twitter’s 140 characters changed how we think about words,” said Stone. “People will start seeing the world in one second moments. It’s a genre-defining medium.”

“Human beings see the world in short moments, not in stills or videos,” adds Tommy Stadlen, co-founder of Swing. “Memories move, and now photos do too. The product combines Polaroid’s iconic heritage with cutting edge innovation.”

You can download Polaroid Swing for iOS right now. An Android version is confirmed to be on the way.