Fujifilm also unveiled the next step in printing solutions for today’s mobile digital imaging generation with its Mobile Printer MP-70, the first portable, handheld wireless printer specifically designed for the accelerating U.S. camera phone market. The MP-70 provides instant prints from infrared enabled camera phone in only 20 seconds, anytime and anywhere. With its portability, simple operated wireless printing and high quality prints, MP-70 is set to create a new category of mobile printing from camera phones.
Within the Fuji Photo Film booth, Fuji Hunt Photographic Chemicals (www.fujihuntusa.com) was demonstrating its Big Picture self-service enlargement kiosk system. The system includes a user-friendly touchscreen kiosk (from Obló Multimedia - www.oblo.biz) with memory card readers and the Epson/Fujifilm Stylus Pro 7600 digital printer. Configured to output true borderless prints up to 20 x 30-inches, the affordably priced print station is a perfect fit for retail minilabs
Kodak (www.kodak.com) announced that its Perfect Touch technology will be available in DLS versions of Noritsu QSS-33 Series and KIS System 80 Series digital minilabs. Previously available only via off-site lab processing, this technology individually analyzes and digitally processes each picture to reveal less red-eye, more vibrant colors, richer detail and fewer dark shadows. Both Systems will feature an upgraded version of Kodak DLS software providing greater connectivity to Kodak Picture Maker G3 kiosks. Kodak started Perfect Touch as a step-up processing service for its drop-off Qualex customers and charged extra for a roll with the upgraded quality. It proved to be a popular offering and Perfect Touch will now play on a much bigger stage on all output products. Its claims: “more vibrant colors, richer detail, reduced red eye and fewer dark shadows.”
Alex Hodges, kiosk marketing director for U.S. and Canada, said that in May there will be a new software release for the G3 Picture Maker, v. 5.0, replacing v. 4.0. This will equip G3 units with three new features: Perfect Touch software capability; print at retail for customers at home to upload images for transfer to their local store; and, create an ‘upsell’ function in the program that will pro-actively encourage customers to buy such features as enlargements and CD’s. He feels that promotion for these high margin products will be welcomed by the retailer. He said that there were currently about 25,000 Picture Makers in the U.S., about 15,000 of which are digitally enabled and that any dealer with a G3 will get the software upgrade at no charge.
Kodak also announced a new, lower cost digital printing kiosk product to make it easier for traditional and non-traditional retailers alike to gain entry into the rapidly growing digital printing space. The new Kodak Picture Maker kiosk is a pedestal-style digital system, which has a significantly smaller footprint and weight than current kiosks, and is ideal for retailers who have not traditionally been able to justify on-site digital printing services New kiosk features will enable connectivity for remote business management and remote service, and will also deliver real Kodak pictures through Kodak Perfect Touch Technology.
“Consumers are using digital cameras, and in turn, we are seeing an incredible surge in the demand to print digital pictures,” said Hodges “By extending our kiosk line with the KODAK Picture Kiosk, and creating innovative features and tools for our current G3 kiosk family, we’re generating new opportunities for retailers to leverage digital printing technology for increased sales.”
Noritsu America Corporation (www.noritsu.com) had on exhibit for the first time the QSS-3300 Digital Minilab along with their recently launched CT-2 Kiosk and existing line of hybrid optical/digital printer-paper processors, film processors, and lab accessories. The QSS-3300 Digital is the next generation of quality minilabs designed to meet the print needs of lower-volume environments while not compromising quality and productivity. The QSS-3300 series film scanner has an LED light source that provides consistent scanning and requires minimal maintenance. The minilab offers a high processing capacity for both film and digital media; 750 prints per hour for 3 x 5-inches. Image adjustment tools such as Noritsu’s Digital Masking Software, which corrects deep and emulsion-side scratches in film, ensure the production of high-quality prints. For retailers seeking a network and Internet-ready kiosk, Noritsu had on display its newly introduced Consumer Terminal (CT-2) Kiosk. The CT-2 Kiosk is a self-service photofinishing solution with added capabilities, such as photo transfer support for camera-phones or those with Infrared / Bluetooth wireless device capabilities.
New consumer-friendly features offer support for multiple languages and a streamlined software system that adds more functionality to the touch screens and reduces transaction time. Capabilities such as built-in image editing helps users add filters, adjust color, crop and zoom photos, and automatically removes red eye. Through an optional specialty print capability, consumers may also create custom greeting cards, calendars, photo frames, and more.
Sony Electronics (www.sony.com/digitalphotofinishing) introduced the slimline PictureStation digital photofinishing kiosk, which is designed to take up about half the floor space of conventional kiosks. The slimline model fits into an array of retail environments. The freestanding unit is just 17 inches wide, yet shares the same software features and ease of operation as the full-sized “deluxe” PictureStation.
The latest kiosk model includes Sony’s new UP-DR150 digital photo printer, the industry’s fastest dye sublimation printer capable of producing stunning 4 x 6 prints in just 8 seconds and 5 x 7 prints in only 15 seconds.
“The new slimline form factor can fit into any retail setting generating satisfied customers and profits,” said senior marketing manager Dave Johnson. “With our new dye sublimation printer, the new slimline kiosk will quickly raise consumer expectations by establishing a powerful differentiation between the PictureStation brand and others.”
Olympus (www.olympusamerica.com) was adding to its TruePrint kiosk line a model that Joe Leo, director of engineering, calls TruePrint Lite, reflecting its slimmed down price. The newly designed model, operating at its booth, will have the same software as its bigger cousins, the TruePrint 110 and 210, but will have no receipt printer, no smart card reader, no 8 x 10 printer and no scanner—features found on the larger systems. Joe said it will be priced at under $7,000 with one 4 x 6 printer, the Mitsubishi CP-9000.
Whitech (www.whitechsolutions.com) was showing the new Photo.Teller 1500 kiosk. Priced only slightly higher than the Photo.Teller 1000, the new Photo.Teller 1500 features an attractive and secure (lockable) steel shell with an internal receipt printer, Infrared and Bluetooth sensors for cell phones and PDA’s, as well as input from all popular digital media formats and USB devices. With a small footprint of only 16 inches wide by 11 inches deep, retailers can now capture new output imaging revenue from the P.T 1500 kiosk that utilizes only a fraction over one square foot of their counter space. The Photo.Teller 1500’s comes with Whitech’s award winning software that includes the production Digital Control Module (DCM) and the ability to produce CD’s of the customer’s images for home ordering back from the retailer (Home.Organizer).
Lucidiom, Inc. (www.lucidiom.com) was offering a new countertop photo kiosk—the APM 1500. The 1500 joins the lineup of Lucidiom’s Automated Photo Machines (APMs) as the executive countertop model. This box is already creating a stir among large retailers, who are drawn to its curved, compact design for putting in their retail locations. Already proven to reduce costs and increase revenue, all models of the APM offer tangible and compelling benefits to retailers seeking to improve their customers’ experiences. The APM 1500’s sleek, silver and black case is expertly engineered. The receipt printer is built into the unit and a fast CD drive allows for a quick burn to CD.