Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

ZINK spins out of Polaroid

Ex-Polaroid execs lead independent venture focused on commecializing Polariod's instant digital printing technology. Led by Wendy Caswell, an ex-Compaq/DEC executive who joined Polaroid in 2003, the team includes CTO Steve Herchen, Bill Keating as head of Finance and Scott Wicker heading marketing.

Polaroid had been working for many years on new printing technologies called Opal and Onyx. The group had been shopped around both prior to Polaroid's bankruptcy filing in 2001 and as the company emerged from bankruptcy and was acquired by Bank One's venture arm in 2002.

They continued development of the printing technologies, looking to use the first generation media and print engine in a retail kiosk then changing their focus to being a supplier of media based on the technology. After Polaroid merger with the Petters Group (a digital products merchandising company) earlier this year this core printing technology no longer fit their business model going forward.

It looks like this move to spin out Zink (great name!) will give Onyx a chance to live on and hopefully prosper as digital printing continues to grow with the explosion of digital cameras and cameraphones. It looks like they have been able to retain some of the key people involved with the technology and they have a strong patent portfolio. Add this to the list of the companies to watch and we wish them the best of luck!