Polaroid was long the icon for instant photos starting back when all photos were viewed on paper. How many of us can remember how amazed we were the first time we saw a Polaroid photo appear magically on the print while we fanned it dutifully? Recently the end of that era became official when Polaroid announced it would soon no longer be producing instant film. Digital photography very firmly killed off that market once virtually all cameras in use were of the digital variety. There’s just not much need for instant film, or even slow film for that matter.
Polaroid didn’t just sit back and go away as they realize that folks still like to print some of those photos to paper. There have been small photo printers for a good while but none as small as the new portable Polaroid PoGo. The PoGo is a handheld printer that uses no ink yet prints out 2 x 3 inch photos in a jiffy. Polaroid uses technology from Zero Ink (ZINK) that prints using special paper that is heat activated. The tech behind ZINK is best described by Polaroid:
The heart of this new "ZINK" category of printing is the ZINK Paper™.The patented ZINK Paper is an advanced composite material with embeddedyellow, magenta and cyan dye crystals, activated with 200 million heatpulses, in 30 seconds, in a single pass. With 100 billion crystals in a2x3" print, the paper is 100% inkless. A ZINK-enabled printer uses heatto activate and colorize these crystals.
The PoGo can print from phones wirelessly using Bluetooth and from cameras using USB. The camera phone functionality would be a sweet way to snap a picture of Grandma with the baby and give her a paper print on the spot. The PoGo went on sale this weekend in the US at Best Buy and Target stores for about $150.