Polaroid’s entrepreneurial legacy

The Boston Globe has a great article about an offshoot of Polaroid called Zink Imaging that has made a portable, colour thermal printer. Along with the article, there is a great video showing it in action.

Zink has the closest connections. As Polaroid was sliding into bankruptcy in 2001, the company was trying to figure out what to do with a printing technology it had developed that doesn’t rely on ink, but instead uses a patented type of crystal that changes color in response to heat. Paper coated with Zink’s crystals can produce full-color photos when exposed to just the right pulses of heat. The project was nearly killed as Polaroid stumbled through its bankruptcy proceedings, but Zink got a reprieve and was spun out as an independent company in 2005.

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