ZINK May Be Revolutionizing the Way We Print

Cast  your eyes over this product on Amazon.com. ZINK is zero ink printing technology.

Yes, you read that right: zero ink. I blinked and did a double take on that one as well. Polaroid PoGo highlights

We purchase printers, the lower end printers, that is, for a song and then pay the piper for ink until our wallets run dry. Could ZINK mean that a sea change has arrived for printing?

ZINK technology does not mean that no ink is being used, it has simply morphed into another form:

The heart of this new “ZINK” category of printing is the ZINK Paper. The patented ZINK Paper is an advanced composite material with embedded yellow, magenta and cyan dye crystals, activated with 200 million heat pulses, in 30 seconds, in a single pass. With 100 billion crystals in a 2 x 3-inch print, the paper is 100-percent inkless. A ZINK-enabled printer uses heat to activate and colorize these crystals. Because there is no ink, every ZINK-enabled device has the unique benefits of being small, simple, elegant, and eco-friendly.

ZINK technology developed out of a vision to make printing “mobile, embeddable in any device, simple to use, [and] easy to maintain” in a way that used “dramatically less waste.”

The Polaroid site, under a tab labeled how it works, informs us that the Pogo not only prints an image in 60 seconds (on adhesive backed, smudge-proof and water resistant paper) but “is SD compatible for additional internal memory for saving photos and downloading them later. With built-in editing tools, the Instant Digital Camera is full of features to perfect any photo.”  It is worth mentioning that a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is the power source. I always look for this feature in a digital camera.

In Japan, you can now buy the Tomy xiao™, whichis a first of its kind integrated digital camera and printer that allows consumers to capture, view, and immediately print their digital images without ink, anywhere.”

I have no idea of the degree of quality that these images display, but my curiosity is certainly piqued.

Jessica W, the inventor of Sheer Heaven, and a self-confessing addict for “buying any and every toy that comes across [her] field of vision,” is testing the Polaroid Pogo out for us. Her first blush assessment?

The prints are not as great as from your regular inkjet printer, but from a journaler’s point of view, they are things of beauty – because how cool is it to be off working in your art journal, and be able to take and print pictures right then and there from your phone or pocket camera?!?!

Robayre has a less qualified enthusiasm for the Polaroid Pogo:

I’m very excited to share that I finally got the Polaroid Pogo that I’ve been talking about forever. And believe me it is AWESOME! Trust me, you want one of these. I’ve been telling everyone that because 1. of it’s awesomeocity, and 2. because I don’t want Polaroid to end up discontinuing this product, so the more people who have one and use it, the better the chances for it’s longevity. But to be honest, everyone that I have shown it to has LOVED it and wants one as well. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Metacafe provides a more technical description of the product, complete with a video, and states:

This patented technology shifts the printing paradigm from an ink cartridge or ink ribbon to a totally ink-free system. Images magically appear on the ZINK Paper™ without a drop of ink.

Zink.com is featuring a few artists that are using ZINK technology to produce their art. I also found ZINK art on Flickr. If you ever think you are the first on the block to discover something art related, Flickr will usually provide an ego reality check. There will already be a user group who is thoroughly exploring the new technology/process you believed you were the first to find.

Flickr can be a real bubble popper. The only real workaround is to invent something yourself.


Please note that I have NOT used this product and cannot vouch for its quality, nor for the quality of the images produced.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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9 Responses to ZINK May Be Revolutionizing the Way We Print

  1. LIz says:

    I recently bought one of these (had an Amazon voucher burning a hole in my pocket!) so your post is very timely…once I learnt to turn the thing on it was plain sailing!! (you have to hold the button down for a few seconds). I’ve only printed one of my son so far but I can see it’ll be a fun toy!

  2. This sounds fascinating…I think it’s the start of something great that will only improve in quality as time goes on. I’m also very intrigued by this “Sheer Heaven” transfer paper, which I had never heard of. There are so many amazing products out there! :~)

  3. carolwiebe says:

    Liz, you always have such a great adventuring spirit.

    SITG: The Sheer Heaven is quite amazing: it has MANY applications.

  4. jeane says:

    amazing exciting and wonderful

  5. tammy vitale says:

    how much does the paper cost?

  6. tammy vitale says:

    ok – I went and looked: 10 pages for $27.99, 30 for @29.99, essentially $1 per 2inch x 3inch picture. Is that actually any less than printing with a regular printer? I can see it could be fun as an adjunct, but I print larger than 2 x 3.

  7. Deb Sims says:

    This has really exciting possibilities. I signed up for an artist’s kit. I have no idea how they decide who will get them but it was worth a shot! I can visualize playing with all sorts of ways to activate the colors in the paper. And they say it’s waterproof! That’s cool for those of us who like to glue, paint, gel the hell out of everything!!

  8. Carol Wiebe says:

    Tammy, I think the difference is in the portability. If I am on a hike through a forest, or on a subway in New York, or teaching a class in a facility where I do not have access to a printer, these little “prints” can be made and pasted into a journal (the paper is apparently adhesive backed), or as studies for designs and paintings, or collage elements for larger works.

    The size of the paper fits whatever device is now enabled to print pictures, like my cell phone or digital camera.

    And, if this technology catches on, it should get less expensive.

    Good grief, I’m doing a commercial here and I’ve never even seen a Polaroid Pogo.

  9. Carol Wiebe says:

    I agree, Jeane–this has some exciting possibilities.

    Let me know, Deb, what you come up with once you use it!

    Today I am going to White Rock and hope to see some of the works by Laura Harris!

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