Polaroid Announces New Instant Digital Printing Technologies

As the popularity of digital photography increases, the desire to produce high-quality, timely prints of digital images also continues to grow. To reach that end, Polaroid has announced two new printing technologies that aim to provide near instant, 35mm quality images. According to Polaroid:

Polaroid Corporation today announced two new digital printing technologies that are poised to shape the future of imaging for consumers and commercial users. Code-named "Opal" and "Onyx," the printing platforms are central to Polaroidis digital strategy and mark a dramatic shift from the companyis heritage in silver halide-based film. The technologies and the companyis new business model were revealed today at a meeting for the investor and media communities at The Digital Sandbox in New York. "The Opal and Onyx technologies will revolutionize how we move digital images from pixels to prints," said Gary T. DiCamillo, Polaroidis chairman and chief executive officer. "These are real game changers - true innovations that will set new standards for instant digital printing quality, mobility and affordability. They offer 35mm quality in a digital print, with speed and simplicity unrivaled by current print options. We expect Opal and Onyx technology to have application to a variety of mobile printing requirements, but also to meet new requirements for retail kiosks, microlabs and a new generation of home photo printers. Whatis more, Polaroid will open these technologies to a variety of partners to bring digital printing products to market in many different forms."

Opal and Onyx: The Future of Instant Digital Printing The Opal and Onyx platforms have been developed by a dedicated research and development team at Polaroid over the past two years. To the surprise of some industry analysts, Opal and Onyx represent a break from the companyis heritage in silver halide-based media, and instead are based on thermal print technologies. Designed as an open architecture platform, the technologies feature speed, mobility, affordability and quality, making them ideal for a range of applications from mobile printing and dedicated home printers to commercial kiosk and microlab use. Dr. Samuel H. Liggero, vice president of media research and development, has spearheaded the development of Opal and Onyx. Citing the limitations of existing digital printing technologies, such as dye diffusion thermal transfer (D2T2), thermal wax and inkjet, Liggero lauded the speed, quality and versatility of Opal and Onyx describing them as the most significant technologies to be developed by Polaroid in many years. "Opal can be optimized to produce 35mm-quality prints at the rate of 50-to-60 per minute," he said.

We can expect to see the first Polaroid-branded Onyx consumer product by the end of this year and the first Opal products in 2002. You can find more information at the Polaroid Web site.