Boing­bo­ing Crunch Gear report­ed this morn­ing the planned clo­sure of the last plant to man­u­fac­ture Polaroid “film”.

We had a Polaroid instant cam­era when I was a kid. Instant pic­tures being of course a big hit with the munchkin crowd and then lat­er mess­ing about the emul­sions and mak­ing “spooky” pic­tures being a hit with the larg­er kids.

One of the coolest uses of Polaroid film has been for tak­ing ver­i­fi­ca­tion pho­tos for var­i­ous con­tests and races. My favorite of those being the Iron Butt Ral­ly.

Arrival at var­i­ous bonus loca­tions was ver­i­fied by tak­ing a Polaroid pic­ture of your “ral­ly tow­el” with some named mon­u­ment at the loca­tion. For exam­ple: A pic­ture of the Lin­coln Mon­u­ment — the one in Laramie Wyoming. 

Polaroid pic­ture ver­i­fi­ca­tion offered the triple advan­tage of being:
1) Cheap.
2) Light weight (rel­a­tive­ly.)
3) Dif­fi­cult to spoof.

So here’s the challenge: 

What tech­nol­o­gy (com­bi­na­tion) can you use to prove that a per­son was in a par­tic­u­lar place at a par­tic­u­lar time.

Remem­ber this sys­tem has to be car­ried on a motor­cy­cle through just about every god awful envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tion you can imag­ine and oper­at­ed by a prob­a­bly dog-tired and cer­tain­ly dis­tract­ed rid­er. It has to be cheap enough to deploy a cou­ple of hun­dred units and secure enough that the con­tes­tants trust its results.

Details of the plant clo­sures and Polaroid’s search for a licensee are avail­able 0n the Boston Her­ald site.