The (Dot) Matrix? Inkless Meta-Linked Digital Photo Printer

Since digital photography took over for film, not many of us print our photographs anymore. One of the reasons for that is the cost: photo ink and paper are expensive, especially when you can easily go through your entire collection on your computer. But what if you could print your photographs on regular paper without using any ink? Would you be more prone to print those entertaining snapshots and hand them out to friends and family?

The Punch camera from designer Matty Martin is a conceptual product that would let you easily and inexpensively print your photos with holes rather than ink. After taking a photograph, the internal hole-punching mechanism – consisting of rows of punches with four different changeable sizes – rearranges its components appropriately. When the camera is ready to print, you simply slide in a plain piece of paper, punch down firmly, and extract a unique keepsake.

But those punched pieces of paper aren’t just physical souvenirs. Each picture that’s printed includes a randomly-generated sentence from the user’s profile. Entering this sentence into a search engine will bring up the user’s profile and other photographs. This is almost certainly one of those products that will never make it to the market, but it’s an interesting exercise in new and unusual media.

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See more in Camera & Video or under Gadgets. May, 2010.