Remember the tantalizing promise of the paperless office? I'll believe it when I take delivery of the personal jetpack I've been waiting for since childhood*. But the idea of an inkless printer is almost as close as my next mobile phone.A Waltham, Massachusetts startup call Zink Imaging (zero ink), is embedding crystals of colorless dye onto specially coated paper. Heating the crystals with a printhead causes them to turn colors. The result is a color print on a waterproof substrate that can be printed from a mobile device.
"What sets Zink apart is that it "enables printing where it doesnï¿¼t currently exist," says Zink's Scott Wicker, explaining that without the need for ink cartridges or ribbons, printers can now be built into small, mobile devices such as digital cameras," says Zinkï¿¼s chief marketing officer.
Zink is smartly focusing on developing its technology -- it holds over 100 patents -- and partnering with larger companies to manufacture and distribute its printer products, which are expected to ship by year end.
* I know all about your backyard experiments with jetpacks, Juan Lozano. Call me when you achieve untethered flight.