The Promise of Instant Print Cameras for Retailers
Whenever I tell an e-commerce entrepreneur that print is a largely untapped market with lots of opportunities for them to develop profitable OEM and white-label partnerships, I’m often met with a bewildered look. Their confusion is somewhat understandable. After all, we’re living in the digital age, and stats citing how much digital media is being stored in the cloud and “consumed” on mobile devices is staggering. But, it’s exactly these very trends — the proliferation of digital photos and smartphone usage in particular — that are driving the instant-photo trend. Allow me to explain.
Between the late 1800s and the late 1980s, film-based photography was the de facto standard for taking photos. In the 1990s, however, digital cameras gained popularity and since 2003, digital cameras have outsold film cameras. Anyone who’s had the experience of sending a roll of film to be processed and waiting several days (or weeks) to receive prints can attest to the many downsides of film ranging from out of focus shots to entire portion of the film being ruined from overexposure. Using a digital camera, one gets an immediate confirmation of what the photo will look like. You can keep what you want on your memory card, copy your files to the cloud for safekeeping, and you never have to wait for results or worry about film overexposure again.
Today’s camera phones feature megapixels in the double digits and boast such bells and whistles as optical zoom, red-eye erasure, and the capability to shoot panoramic photos and HD video. Although it’s now easier than ever to capture high resolution shots, and just as easy to share these images on a variety of social media platforms, Instagrammers from the “selfie generation” want instant-prints to create lasting memories.
Chaim Pikarski is Chief Executive Officer of ZINK Holdings LLC (ZINK), a privately-held company headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts that invented ZINK Zero Ink® Technology. ZINK is a full-color printing system that eliminates the need for ink cartridges or ribbons - all the color required for printing an image is embedded in the paper itself.