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Zink: cool product, tough to demo

Demonstrating a new printer at a conference like DEMO has to be a tough proposition.  That’s what Zink did. 

Zink stands for “Zero Ink”.  At DEMO, they debuted the Zink printer, a print platform which prints without ink cartridges.  Their technology uses heat to fuse die crystals embedded in their special paper, resulting in beautiful prints, printed without ink cartridges, which emerge dry and “ready to enjoy”.  I saw the results last week in a meeting with one of their investors, and the prints are truly gorgeous.  My immediate reaction was “I’d buy that”.

You can see their demo here.

It’s a very cool product, but it wasn’t a great demo. Don’t get me wrong, the two founders did a very smooth job of presenting their product and company.  But at the end of the day, DEMO is about the products, not the company.  It would have been a better demo if they had demonstrated more of the advantages of the technology. 

  • Claim: small form factor. Proof: Just two products with the embedded print platform.  Would it have been possible to show more?
  • Claim: durability versus standard prints.  Proof: the print was dipped in a bowl of water, and the demonstrator attempted to tear it.  Could they have put their print up side by side with a print from a standard printer, or a commercial print?
  • Claim: gorgeous prints.  Proof: none.  It would have been great to see enlarged prints of another digital printing technology placed side by side with this technology.

Ultimately the success of this technology is going to be decided by two things — economics and utility.  We didn’t hear at all about the economics of it, and the demonstration of the utility of the technology could have been beefier.

Tough to demo, but very cool technology. 

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