Zink invents inkless-printer

A relatively new company has invented a new way to print without using traditional inks.

Zink Imaging has done away with ink cartridges and ribbons, and has embedded the ink on the paper used with the printer.

Because the printers don't have ink in them, they can be made very small and lightweight, and embedded into difference devices whose primary aim may not be printing.

The Zink paper has dye crystals embedded in it that are then protected by a polymer overcoat. The company says that it will first be used for mobile products – the Mobile Printer and the Integrated Digital Camera and Printer.

The first device will be tiny, the size of a portable hard drive, and print 2x3 inch photos (the size of a business card). The printer will be compatible with all PictBridge enabled cameras as well as Bluetooth-enabled cameras phones.

The integrated camera and printer will be a 7MP device with a 3x optical zoom and a 2-inch LCD. You'll simply snap the pictures and hit print, somewhat like a digital polaroid.

Zink simply says that the devices will be available in late 2007.