January 10, 2009 Polaroid announced the new Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera at CES 2009 this week, integrating a 5 megapixel camera with their existing ZINK (zero-ink) portable printer to create a virtual descendant to their SX-70 and OneStep instant cameras of old.

Polaroid has been around for a long time, over half a century ago the company invented instant photography and built a worldwide business around their instant cameras:

To put this in pesrpective, here's a basic timeline of the companies achievements:

  • The introduction of the Polaroid Land camera, in 1948, marks the beginning of the brand’s legacy in instant photography.
  • By 1950, more than a million packs of film have been sold.
  • Polaroid debuts colored film in 1963.
  • In 1972, Polaroid introduces the SX-70 – a fully-automatic, motorized, folding, single lens reflex, which ejects self-developing, self-timing color prints. By 1976, sales of Polaroid cameras exceed 6 million units.
  • In 1977, Polaroid introduces the OneStep Land camera, an inexpensive, fixed-focus camera that would become the best selling conventional or instant camera in the U.S. for over four years.

Now Polaroid has announced their new PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera, the first digital camera and instant printer combination that is portable enough to take anywhere.

The PoGo™ is a fully functional 5MP digital camera, with the added feature of a ZINK printer integrated into the same package. Users can select from among digital photos on the camera, crop or edit them, and print 2x3-inch color prints – all from within the device. “This is the digital version of our traditional instant camera, which consumers have loved since the 70s,” says Jon Pollock, vice president and general manager, Digital Imaging. “With this product, Polaroid will bring the magic of instant photography to a whole new generation. It’s what consumers have told us they want – a fun, easy way to use a digital camera to print photos and share their memories instantly.”

The Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera is the second product in the Polaroid PoGo™ family of products. Polaroid introduced their PoGo™ Instant Mobile Printer in July 2008. The Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera uses the same ZINK Photo Paper™ and ZINK™ Zero Ink™ Printing Technology from ZINK Imaging. ZINK™ Zero Ink™ is an ink-free printing technology which replaces ink cartridges or ribbons with ZINK Photo Paper™ – a composite material that has embedded, heat-activated dye crystals. Before printing, ZINK Photo Paper™ appears white like regular photo paper. Once the pictures are printed, they are immediately dry to the touch, durable and smudge and water resistant. The 2x3-inch sticky-backed photos can be printed with or without fun borders and the advantage of reviewing the captured photos on a three-inch color LCD screen before printing.

The camera measures 4.7-inches wide by 3-inches tall and weighs 10 ounces. “Unlike traditional instant film, photos from the Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera emerge fully developed,” Pollock says. “While many of our most passionate customers tell us “shaking” a Polaroid photo is part of the fun, with any Polaroid photo, the “shake” is totally optional.”

The Polaroid PoGo ™ Instant Digital Camera will be available beginning in March 2009 at major retailers for a suggested retail price of USD$199. Ten-packs of ZINK Photo Paper™, which can be used in both the Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera and the Polaroid PoGo™ Instant Mobile Printer, retail for $4.99 and 30-packs for $12.99, and are widely available at national retailers everywhere.

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