During the height of its popularity, in the mid-1970’s, Americans reportedly spent more on Polaroid film than on toothpaste. Dental hygiene aside, the appeal for instant pictures hasn’t waned in the digital age. With massive scrap-booking options, wallets awaiting familial snapshots, and the ubiquity of the camera phone, some images simply demand a place in the analog world of glossy photo paper. Bridging the gap between technology and nostalgia is ZINK (www.zink.com). ZINK (or Zero Ink), in association with printing mainstay Konica Minolta, has developed paper embedded with reactive crystals, that when heated, activate and colorize to create full color prints. A tentative launch date for the all-in-one printer/camera device and a mobile printer (which can sync to your camera phone) is set for January 2008.
In the meantime, you can pilfer a few photo composition tips from The Art of the American Snapshot exhibit currently at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/snapshotinfo.shtm).
Imagine– no toner, no cartridges; just crystals and captured memories.
Kenya Robinson for DESIGN FUTURIST