Magazine Article


State of the Industry - Page 3

Carson Optical
Innovative Products, Packaging & Design

Carson Optical has personalized it's image through it's attractive product packaging. During this past year, our mission has been to research and develop reasonably priced, trendy binoculars. Over the years we have offered the consumer value oriented products at reasonable prices without compromising their functionality.
Binocular sales have soared this past year. In recent years, the trend in binoculars has been toward compact, lightweight designs. Various new body styles, improved lens coatings, and a greater variety of choices have been the driving force in increased retail sales.
Our marketing department continues to see current and future trends towards more compact size binoculars vs. full size. We plan to eventually turn away from the bulky full size models and move into more compact easy to carry models. We expect the binocular market to continue to grow in the coming years and also keep up with technological trends; smaller is more innovative.
As we approach a new year, we will continue to work hard to provide new and exciting products with the addition of exciting new compact models, function and powerful zoom models, and optical products for children, we believe we are ready for another year of growth and change.

President, Carson Optical

Visual Communications: Digital Imaging in the 21st Century

With exponential strides in digital technology, a picture is now worth millions of words, not a mere one thousand. This change in communication affects all of us from the soccer Mom wirelessly sending pictures of her daughter's first goal to the CTO looking to layer images on top of her enterprise collaboration software. We see visual communication as becoming central to business communication, affecting the desktop, Internet, mobile devices and the enterprise servers that store, manage and share digital assets. To create a successful visual communications system may still be a challenge to businesses, including the need to manage data combined with robust imaging software, dynamic display technology and easy-to-use user interfaces. In the coming years, we will see digital imaging providers offering a visual communication experience that spans the enterprise to Web, mobile and wireless devices and we will also see that it is the software that makes this integration seamless.
The rapid pace of technology is matched by emerging technologies in the visual media industry. Just last year, digital media capture was predominantly low-resolution, requiring expensive equipment and a highly skilled user. Advances in digital capture technologies, PC processor speed, mobile device creation; wired and wireless communications systems and analog circuitry have laid the foundation for the democratization of visual communication. The market for digital devices and software, and online solutions for photo and video services is expanding at such a clip it is expected to become a $200 billion dollar industry in the next decade. Enterprise scale visual communication, however, has yet to be fully exploited.
The future of visual communication, from the boardroom to the familyroom, depends on hardware as the vehicle for communication and software as the translator, a means to an end. Improvements in hardware and infrastructure will expand the reach of visual communications, but ArcSoft believes that it is the software that allows both enterprise and casual users to realize the full potential of their hardware; to quickly and easily manage digital assets, whatever their goals.
High-quality, easy-to-understand imaging software is critical to unlock the potential of visual communication. Without the ability to share a common language, verbal communication would be impossible. Without the software tools to translate captured digital information into share-able images, how can we possibly hope to communicate with them?


D&H Distributing
Digital Continues to Buck Trends

As the leading distributor of digital imaging products from such prominent manufacturers as Sony, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Agfa, and Fuji; D&H has been on the forefront of the organized consumer digital imaging movement from its beginning in 1997. D&H began stocking the first digital imaging products that were introduced in 1994.
Though in general technology sales are down, the digital imaging category continues to buck trends. Its performance will be even stronger when the last few key issues are addressed.
The ability to quickly and cost-effectively produce high-quality output from digital files appears to be the biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of digital imaging in the home. While ink jet technology continues to improve and prices continue to fall, it still does not seem to represent the ideal in photo printing to the consumer. Stand-alone photo printers appear to be a perfect solution; but prices have not come down enough to justify this purchase of a second printer to the consumer.
Though output issues continue to compromise digital imaging's ease-of use at the consumer level, we believe new technologies such as Epson's Print Image Matching should help establish standards and make the whole process easier.
Beside output, price point definitely plays a large part in consumer adoption — especially when it comes time to choose a first camera. The tethered PC camera manufacturers are taking a sizeable chunk of business from the traditional digital imaging manufacturers. These cameras represent an expensive way for the consumer to get a taste of the technology benefits. The market would benefit greatly from a brand name $99 camera.
Unlike the computer industry, we don't necessarily see that bigger is better in digital imaging. Buyers are becoming more savvy and making buying decisions based on overall feature-sets, not simply number of pixels. A 2-Megapixel camera with 5X zoom at $299 will sell better then a 3-Megapixel with a 3X zoom at $399.
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