Zink stands for zero ink, and thatâ€™s exactly what Zink Imaging LLC promises â€“ a pocket sized printer that uses no ink to print digital snapshots in seconds.
The Zink technology uses heat, much like a dye sub printer does, but the dyes are embedded into the paper itself. Bonded inside the paper are three dye layers, colored yellow, magenta, and cyan, a shade of blue, the primary colors that produce the entire spectrum. The colors come out as the paper is precisely heated as it passes under the thermal print head.
The little printer, which will be priced at about $100, is only as big as an iPod. Its makers refer to it as the son of Polaroid because it is an offshoot of Polaroid research before it went bankrupt. The new company which picked it up, Zink Imaging, also plans to make a $200 digital camera with the printer built right in so it can take photos in much the same way Polaroid did â€“ instant prints on the spot.