Zink, a company that has developed a portable inkless printer, will today announce the finalists for its Zero Boundaries design contest. People and companies have been competing to find the best way to make use of Zink’s inkless printing technology–we’ve written about Zink here and here–and I had the opportunity to participate in judging the competition.
As a judge, I got to see all of the 75 entries. Many designers proposed laptops and tablets with integrated printers, business and flashcard printers, and instant cameras with integrated printers. A number of participants thought that small Zink printers would be useful for making large-scale images, such as wallpaper designs and posters. Some concepts included a function that allowed the printer to crawl over a space, heating the surface coated with the same heat-sensitive crystals found in Zink paper. By far, the most unexpected submission was an acrylic nail printer in which fake nails are coated with Zink’s heat-sensitive crystals.
Polaroid might have stopped making its instant film, but Zink, a spinoff of the company, is trying to find its place as a maker of portable instant printers. The challenge isn’t straightforward: today, most people share photos digitally, on the Web or via e-mail and Twitter, and they print pictures only when a special reason warrants it.
Zink launched its competition in April with hopes of spurring interest in its technology, highlighting up-and-coming designers, and inspiring Zink partners to create interesting products. The contest had two components: one called for a product that would appeal to youth, and the other called for a product that rethinks printing completely. All of the finalists can be viewed here, and the public can vote on a favorite. The winners will be announced on July 15.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.