Created by Patrick Schuur, Maketropolis, Netherlands

The ZINK MIX was the first place winner in the youth category for demonstrating keen insight into the youth market and the world of social networking. The ZINK MIX takes advantage of the embeddable nature of the ZINK® Technology in a way that captures the spirit of today’s youth.

ZINK Mix is a combination of a software application and a physical product fitted out with 3” x 4” ZINK printing technology that makes it fun and convenient fot the youth to manage, edit and print images. Targeted at youths between 14 - 21 in possession of an iPhone or iPod Touch, they can print images that now remain in digital format only, so they can enjoy and share moments in their life when they are not sitting behind a computer.

The ZINK Mix software application installed on an iPhone or iPod Touch is what makes ZINK Mix tick. The application crawls the user’s social network on the internet for pictures (in places such as Facebook, MSN, Twitter, MobileMe, Picasa, Flickr, Blogs and so on), Then Displays them in a library that can be viewed from anywhere, not just from within the iPhone / iPod touch. The application also enables the uer to download and manage it’s pictures. When done with editing images can be uploaded to the different social networks and they can be printed right away on the ZINK Mix hardware. The ZINK Mix hardware enables users to edit and print images in a fun and refreshing way. The hardware interfaces with the iPhone / iPod Touch through Bluetooth, or through the 30-pin dock connector via the built in USB connector.

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Who is Maketropolis

Maketropolis was founded by Patrick Schuur in January 2008. Before starting to work for his own studio he studied Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology. As part of his graduation he did a six month internship at Griffin Technology in Nashville, TN, USA. At Griffin Technology he got to do both design and engineering of iPod accessories, of which several made it to market. Two years after obtaining his Bachelor degree in Industrial Design, Patrick founded Maketropolis. Maketropolis is a multidisciplinary studio offering a wide range of design services to clients big and small. The services range from idea generation, concept development, design, visualizations, prototyping to engineering. Besides working for clients Maketropolis develops its own products and concepts, which it solicits to appropriate parties.

The Zink Zero Boundaries design contest was fun and challenging. The formulated design problem, that the youths live a second life online, is a very current and realistic one. Therefore it was interesting and motivating to come up with a solution. In order to find an answer to the design problem Maketropolis thought out a concept that appeals to the youths, is easy to carry around, is a meaningful application of Zink’s printing technology and is not too expensive and/or too difficult to manufacture. With some further development, especially the software interface, the Zink Mix could well be a product that youngsters would like to spend their savings on!