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Polaroid's Snap Camera Prints Photos Without Using Ink

Forbes logo Forbes 07-09-2015 Amit Chowdhry, Contributor

Polaroid Snap / Credit: Polaroid© Provided by Forbes Polaroid Snap / Credit: Polaroid At the IFA trade show in Berlin, Polaroid announced the pocket-sized Snap instant digital camera. The Snap combines the instant photography feature that is synonymous with the Polaroid brand with a sleek modern design. And it can print photos with a simple push of a button using Zink Zero Ink Printing technology.

The Polaroid Snap lets you save the images so that you can transfer it to your computer or upload it to a social media app. It has a 10-megapixel sensor and a microSD card slot that can hold up to 32GB of storage. Best of all, the Snap can print out full color 2×3 inch (about wallet size) photos without requiring ink cartridges, toners or ribbons.

How does Zink Zero Ink Printing work? The Zink photo paper is made of composite material embedded with cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals and has protective polymer overcoats. A 50-pack of Polaroid’s 2×3 inch Zink photo paper costs about $29.99 on Amazon.

The Polaroid Snap has multiple capture modes, a photo booth app and a self-timer feature. The capture modes includes color, black and white and vintage. The photo booth app can take six pictures in only ten seconds. And the self-timer feature helps you seamlessly take selfies.

Before a photo is printed, the dye crystals are colorless — which makes the Zink paper look like ordinary white photo paper. Using heat activation, the Zink-enabled Printer colorizes the crystals. Each photo fully prints in slightly under one minute. And the Zink Paper is adhesive-backed so you can use the printed photos as stickers.

The design of the Polaroid Snap camera includes modern elements and the signature Polaroid Color Spectrum. Ammunition, the design firm that worked on the Polaroid Zip instant photo printer and Polaroid Cube+ lifestyle action cameras, put together the Polaroid Snap. Ammunition has also designed products for Adobe, Beats by Dre, Square and Lyft.

“The Polaroid Snap puts a modern twist on classic Polaroid instant cameras by combining digital camera technology with a contemporary, minimalistic design at a price point consumers would expect to pay for an analog instant camera,” said Polaroid president and chief executive Scott W. Hardy in a statement.

Originally founded in 1937, Polaroid has been known for creating instant cameras for decades. In 1943, Polaroid founder Edwin Land came up with the idea of an instant camera after his 3-year-old daughter asked why she could not see the picture he had just taken of her. Four years later, Polaroid presented a demonstration of the instant camera. 

Throughout the 1970s, Polaroid’s instant color prints surged in popularity. But consumer photography began to decline in the 1980s. Video camcorders and digital cameras started taking off in the 1990s. And Polaroid ended up filing for bankruptcy protection in October 2001. Polaroid’s brand was licensed for other products about a year later. After filing for bankruptcy again in 2008, Polaroid’s assets were obtained by several companies. C&A Marketing — the company offering the Snap — received a Polaroid license in November 2009.

The Polaroid Snap instant digital camera will be available towards the end of the year for $99. The color options for the Snap includes black, white, red and blue.

What are your thoughts about the Polaroid Snap? Do you plan to buy one and print out a lot of photos? Please leave a comment!

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