Polaroid got famous for making instant cameras and film for the impatient photographer. They've fallen on rough times as the digital camera has made capturing a photo and seeing it on a little screen almost instantaneous. But what if you want an instant artifact of your snapshot? Polaroid's betting you'd find a use for a little battery-powered printer that spits out a two by three inch color photo. No ink to smudge, either; the colors are embedded in the paper, waiting for the printer to bring them out.
The printer uses paper with billions of embedded dye crystals. It selectively heats them up to produce different colors. There is no ink, toner, or liquid chemical in the process. The prints come out dry.
With no ink to buy, the only cost of using the printer is the paper, which it eats in packs of 10. These cost $3.99 each, or $9.99 for three. That's a little steep compared to regular photo printers, but cheap compared to instant film, which costs around $15 for a 10-pack.
You can plug your digital camera right in the printer via USB, or via Bluetooth from a haphazard list of compatible cameraphones. The pictures aren't very high quality, but quick and dirty was always the charm with instant photos anyway. Film is dead. Long live printer paper!