Continuing to carry the torch of instant photography, Polaroid’s ZIP Mobile Printer caters to those who prefer not to go with those instant shooter with printer varieties (digital ones, that is), but still wish to have the power of, well, Polaroid instant cameras. With the ZIP (acronym for Zink Instant Photoprinter), you basically turn your regular smartphone into a Polaroid camera. Measuring a pocket-friendly 2.91” x 4.72” (7.4 x 12 cm, which is no bigger than an iPhone 6) and tips the scale at just 6.6 oz (186g), it connects wirelessly to your smartphone, Android or iOS, via Bluetooth or NFC to print out 2” x 3” full-color prints that won’t smudge – thanks to a pretty revolutionary ink-free system known as Zero Ink (ZINK) printing technology.
There is not need to worry about empty cartridge, because there is none to be found. Instead, it uses the patented ZINK Paper, which is a special paper embedded with dye crystals. Prior to printing, the dye crystals are colorless which makes the paper look like any regular white photo paper. But when heat is introduced to different areas of the ZINK paper for a specific amount of time and at a specific temperature, the dye within the paper is released, thus forming the image. Printing takes about a little under a minute and each ZINK Paper boasting an adhesive backing, allowing the photo to be used as a sticker. While you can choose to go with traditional instant photo paper-based instant camera, this one has a little more creative touch to it.
It comes with a free companion app, available for Android and iOS, that allows you to adjust the image, add filters, personalized with by ‘drawing’ on the photos, add fancy stuff like frames, stickers, stamps and more, create business card (yes, even that) and finally, collaging up to 9 images into one single print (but it will be super tiny, just saying…). There is an option which I don’t quite get it and that’s “make edits private and viewable only using the app’s secret view mode”, but we shall leave it to you to discover that. Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer is open for pre-order for $129.99 in the U.S. at Photojojo, as well as B&H Photo. International buyers will have to look to Amazon, specifically Amazon UK (£109.99). Shipping is expected to commence on May 1, 2015.