Meanwhile, though, he called imaging kiosks, which many in the industry hoped would be a magic bullet for digital printing at retail, as only "an interim step to the full blown digital minilab experience."
"Kiosks can be a time-consuming experience," Pageau noted. "At retail you want to move these people on line so you can get the quantity you want. Kiosks will have their place but I think the mass market is going to move to more of a hybrid experience."
By hybrid experience, Pageau described what he called "the home kiosk."
"People get the images the way they want them [on their home computer], crop them the way they want and upload them to the store where they can get same day prints."
As for the much ballyhooed camera phone category, Pageau was even less enthusiastic. "I'm still not very bullish on them as a game-changing device in the industry. I primarily see them as a communication device." He cited issues with extracting "usable" images from the phones for printing as the main stumbling block.
"Some carriers disable the IR or Bluetooth technologies [that allow the images to be transmitted to printers wirelessly]," Pageau contended. "It's not in their best interest to allow any access to their network but with that phone. And that's not going to change unless one of them blinks. And unless that changes, I don't see an uptake on camera phones as a memory device."