The First Inkless and Portable Printer by Jessica Hodges
In early February, Polaroid Corp., the Massachusetts Company that gave the world instant film photography, announced they would be shutting down its film manufacturing lines in the state and abandoning the technology that made it famous and popular for the past 60 years. The company will retain about 150 employees and will now focus on flat-panel TVs and digital photography gear.
Among the new upcoming innovations, is the Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Mobile Printer – a small portable printer, which will let people print on the go. This printer is the first of its kind, using Zink – the zero-ink technology. No more need of printer cartridges! And because there is no ink, the Zink printer has the unique benefits of being small, simple, elegant, and mostly eco-friendly.
The secret is in the paper; the PoGo’s thermal print head activates dye crystals in the glossy photo paper. Sheets of the 2-by-3-inch printer are thinner than the old Polaroid print paper and contain three layers of primary colors suspended in the paper itself. The print is ready usually within 60 seconds.
The PoGo is designed to mostly print snapshots from a digital camera or a camera phone. It connects to cell phones via Bluetooth, and Polaroid says that the printer is compatible with over 80 percent of the cell phone models on the market that are equipped with Bluetooth and a camera. The PoGo also connects to PictBridge-enabled cameras via USB and to your PC.
As with the original Polaroid cameras, the main attraction of the printer is to obtain instant gratification, while it also offers mobility. The printer sells for $150 and holds 10 pieces of paper at a time. The paper conveniently comes in packages of 10 sheets for $4.