Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cookie Camera

Easy-Bake Oven meets Polaroid
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So, you're at your nephew's 7th birthday party. While all the other parents are taking boring digital snapshots, you whip out the beast, a strange device about thrice the size of a 1970s era Polaroid camera. The kids scream with glee.

Behold the Instamatic Cookie Camera. Part digital camera, part confectionery device, all fun. A standard low-end digital camera takes a picture of dear nephew. Firmware reads the image for edge-definition and renders out a line drawing of his cute little face. Elsewhere in the camera, things are churning. Par-baked chocolate-chip cookie dough, formed into a rough 3x5 inch rectangle, is raised into position. Chocolate icing is heated to the proper viscosity and then a computer-controlled print head nozzle squirts the icing on the dough. The result is the line drawing of the smiling birthday boy rendered on a cookie, which is passed across a heating element and out the front of the camera on wax paper. Just like a Polaroid. The photographer carefully rips the cookie from the device, allows it to cool for a moment, and then hands it over to be eaten.

With current technology, this thing would be huge. I envision something on the order of a 4x5 bellows camera. The reason is the power and expendables. But I think it would be worth it. The bottom half of the device would be a reusable cartridge that contained wax paper, dough, icing, and enough battery power to provide cooking heat for five or six shots. You could load different dough for different effect (kinda like film stocks) - gingerbread for the holidays, sugar cookie for pin-up girls, etc. There might also be a plug-in option for high volume crowds. Hell, you could put one in at amusement parks and offer people to "eat their screams" after emerging from a roller coaster ride. It would bring back the visceral to photography, something lost in the digital age.

tourist, May 15 2006

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       I just know it will wind up with the 35mm, my 2 1/4, my ten year old digital dental cameras, and the x-ray film I keep in the freezer for pinhole work, but a bun in the image of my grin for you anyway.
normzone, May 15 2006
  

       Love it!
Galbinus_Caeli, May 15 2006
  

       Awesome!   

       Of course I would have wanted one of my own as a child. My parents would come home to find 500 living-room shaped cookies in the kitchen...
phundug, May 15 2006
  

       Give the cameras away, become a billionaire selling the refill cartridges.
SledDog, May 15 2006
  
      
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