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Portable, inkless printing? Think Zink

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Portable, inkless printing? Think Zink

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By Adorama News Writer

February 2, 2007

Zink (a contraction of "zero ink"), a Massachusetts-based firm, demonstrated an ink-free digital photo printing technology this week that uses paper with embedded heat-activated dye crystals. The heated crystals colorize as they melt to produce what the company claims are durable and long-lasting images.

Zink demonstrated a handheld portable printer that produces 2x3-inch photos in less than a minute, could retail for $99, and may be a companion to a camera phone. The printer has a built-in rechargeable battery and a paper pack. The company has also shown a digital camera with a built-in printer that could retail for $199. Products incorporating Zink technology are said to be on the way later this year.

Digital son of Polaroid?

The company has established over 100 patents for the print technology, and will manufacture the paper. Prints are claimed to be water-resistant and difficult to tear. "Zink will take printing to places where it was never before possible," says Dr. Stephen Herchen, Executive VP and CTO of Zink.

The company is working on larger print size and partnerships to commercialize the product.

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