Kiosk Mania Hits PMA
By Theano Nikitas
Photo kiosks have been gaining momentum for the past year or
two, so it's no surprise that there will be a number of new models
showcased at PMA 2002.
With the success of print-to-print kiosks and the continued increase in digital camera sales, the digital photo kiosk will become an increasingly important component of the digital imaging arena.
Here's a look at some of the kiosk systems that will keep retailers in the digital flow:
Agfa Consumer Imaging is introducing an enhanced AGFA e-box, with an Agfa e40 flatbed scanner and a CD writer module. The Agfa Pix CD not only provides customers with media on which to store their images, but as a bonus, they also receive (on the CD) viewer software for viewing slideshows as well as AGFAnet Client Software for Internet re-ordering.
Cool, too, is the e-box's black & white and sepia options. Customers can easily transform their images from color to trendy monochrome prints.
While the e-box accepts a wide variety of input media-from Jaz, Zip and floppies to Memory Stick, CF and CDs, the modular e-box can be easily updated as new media storage is developed. And, in the future, look for the ability to use the e-box as an input station for digital passport photos.
While Applied Science Fiction doesn't have their own kiosk, this company is on the cutting edge of technology.
Digital ICE, Digital ROC and Digital GEM (Digital Ice3-pronounced ice cubed) film restoration technologies are already incorporated into a number of scanners, both consumer and in minilabs, as well as the Pixel Magic solution. Soon we'll be seeing a fourth technology, Digital SHO, which will pull out shadow detail. And, better yet, this technology will be available as plug-ins for image-editing software. Stay tuned for more.
Another groundbreaking technology is ASF's digital PIC process, which develops 35mm film directly to digital. ASF will be showing prototype kiosks integrated with the Digital PIC process at PMA to demonstrate what this technology can do. According to ASF's VP of Marketing, Mike Conley, ASF has come out with several configurations although they will not be marketing the kiosks. "We're providing the black box," says Conley, "the film developing unit, the image processor, interface and other components."
A joint venture of SanDisk and Photo-Me International, Digital Portal, Inc. (DPI) is announcing a new kiosk at this year's PMA. The new compact kiosk system offers silver halide processing, Kodak paper and touch screen technology.
An interesting optional feature is a Dark-Star Digital HD screen. This enables retailers the opportunity to advertise products and services in-store.
Pricing isn't set yet, but there will be two options: purchase the kiosk outright or utilize a revenue sharing plan at $.33 per click, along with a monthly lease fee. Better yet, DPI also offers a 60-day trial—with no lease charge.