How many memory cards are laying around collecting dust with beautiful memories captured in time that will never be seen again? While the digital age of photography has brought astonishing innovations, it's also sped us up so much that we don't get to reflect on the memories we wanted so much to capture.
In fact, a top Google executive warned that today's electronic photos could all be lost to defunct software, resulting in a "forgotten century."
While speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February 2015, Google Vice President Vint Cerf warned of a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” that awaits us when "bit rot" takes hold and our digital material can no longer keep pace with the superior hardware and software constantly being developed.
“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole," he said to The Guardian. “We digitize things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artifacts that we digitized. If there are photos you really care about, print them out.”
While some may be too young to recall the almost instantly printed photos that came from a Polaroid camera, it looks like the iconic product is on the verge of making a major comeback.
The company just announced a new digital camera that has the ability to immediately print a photo without needing any ink.
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Polaroid, which essentially disappeared from the public consciousness after filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, and then being acquired by PLR IP Holdings, LLC, is used to market various products often relating to instant cameras.
The key to this new old school camera is the Zero Ink printing technology. Developed by a company called ZINK, the camera uses an ink-free process that uses a special printing paper, which contains cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals beneath a polymer coating.
When the printer is activated, the Polaroid Snap activates the crystals to create a 2 x 3 inch, wallet sized, full-color photo. Additionally, the photos can be printed in larger sizes at a later time, as the camera takes 10-megapixel photographs.
There are a number of preset options on the camera, which include color, black and white, vintage, a selfie-timer and a photo booth mode that takes six pictures in 10 seconds.
And while the camera doesn’t require ink, they will require the special ZINK printing paper, which cost roughly $24.99 for a 50 pack. The camera will be available in the fourth quarter of 2015, and will be available in four different colors — black, white, red and blue.
The idea of having an actual hard copy of a photo in an era of digital pictures is a seemingly revolutionary development. Aside from the simple nostalgia factor, having the ability to produce instant photos is a welcome addition to the modern digital age.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has been published on BenSwann's Truth in Media, Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPressNews and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.