Polaroid Flashback? Meet the Kodak SMILE Printer

By Kehl Bayern / January 16, 2019

It’s been a long while since the days of Polaroid and instafilm’s dominance over an industry since turned to the much-quicker method of smartphones with cameras.

But that doesn’t mean that makers aren’t still giving the instant film market a shot, Kodak being among them.

Image via Kodak.

Revealed at CES 2019, the SMILE printer from Kodak uses some pretty cool tech underpinning it.

A printer that uses “zero ink” technology, the Kodak SMILE joins products from others such as Canon and the aforementioned Polaroid.

Zink printers, as the technology is called, are incredibly popular with consumers as they provide cheap, fast ways to make physical prints of photos anywhere, anytime.

Think of it as the Polaroid for the modern era.

Best of all is the fact that Zink paper tends to be cheap at $10 for a 20 pack. Not only does that make it affordable for most people but, as Photography Bay points out, makes this cheaper than Fujifilm’s Instax line.

Kodak says the SMILE printer produces 3.51″ x 4.25″ prints with up to 35 prints per unit charge. The price for the SMILE will be about $USD 150 with an initial ship date sometime later this year.

The camera has a fixed-focus lens and stores photos on a MicroSD card in a JPEG format. To help with capturing the shot, the device even has a pop-up optical viewfinder. It even has wireless printer capabilities when interfacing with the companion Kodak Instant Print Companion.

In other photography news, Photography Bay reports that Kodak’s ill-conceived cryptocurrency drive is dead per reports from this year’s CES. If you will recall, Kodak had developed a scheme to use blockchain technology to somehow enforce copyright on photos. Many people perceived it as an attempt to cash-in on the crypto fad and Kodak has decided it just isn’t worth it.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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