Friday, January 16, 2009


Corresponding with family and friends while on vacation used to involve a gift shop, the purchase of a postcard and a stamp, and a few awkward sentences detailing all the fun you were having on the trip. Nowadays, correspondence from afar comes mainly in the form of email or text/picture messaging. Sure, it is convenient, and the pictures are often a bit more personalized than a “wish-you-were-here” labeled beach photo, but an electronic greeting will never compare with an actual card delivered by mail. What if there was a way to combine today’s technological advancements with the comfort and tangibility of the classic postcard.

The Idea: instant postcards.

Instant postcards would be pictures taken at tourist destinations, which would instantly be printed onto postcards and mailed out. The pictures would include anything from those often taken at museum exhibits, amusement park rides, sporting events, etc. - instead of 10 awkward wallet-size photos of the family at Epcot Center, why not 4 ready-to-mail postcards that each member could send out to a friend? Its utility would boost sales at these photo booths, which in turn, would save on the waste generated by pre-printed photos which tourists previously would have had no need for.

Further, with the help of advancements from companies such as Massachusetts-based Zink, roving photographers with printer-equipped cameras could snap a picture and instantly print the image on a postcard. Zink just recently introduced a digital camera with a printer. The only modification would be creating sheets which had preprinted postcard formatting on the back for a letter. Imaging being at the Grand Canyon, looking out at the spectacular view, when someone comes up behind you and offers to take your picture and print it on a postcard; you agree, and a few minutes and a few dollars later, you now have a personalized postcard to send back home to your family. Picture perfect.

To learn more about Zink's new products, visit

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