Thursday, April 24, 2008

ZINK is supposed to make up for the loss of Polaroid instant film?

Polaroid's new instant mobile printer using ZINK (stands for Zero Ink) printing technology is able to be hooked up via usb or bluetooth to mobile devices and digital cameras. It prints 2" x 3" borderless prints with a sticky backing (15 prints per charge on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery) which are "smudge-proof".

Their website states that "ZINK Paper™ is at the heart of ZINK™ Zero Ink™ Technology. ZINK Paper is an advanced composite material with cyan, yellow, and magenta dye crystals embedded inside and a protective polymer overcoat layer outside, enabling true ink-free prints. We can customize the characteristics and/or manufacturing of ZINK Paper to meet the needs of a specific application and market. And, because ZINK Paper is manufactured in very large rolls, it can be produced and then finished in any size, in rolls or sheets, and on multiple base materials including paper and plastic. ZINK Paper can also be finished with an adhesive back."

If Polaroid thinks that this will supplement all the lost nostalgia with their abandonment of the instant format film, they are really wrong. While it seems like an interesting technology, and it might be interesting to hack in some way, I don't see any real advantages to this system. Not only does it require that you purchase film (in 10 print packs), but also that you carry around an accompaniment to your camera and have to remember to recharge a battery. I don't know, maybe my cynicism is poorly directed, however, I can't say that I'm really excited.

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