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Monday, September 20, 2010

Kodak Photo Kiosk PYNK Makes Sharing Pictures Super Easy and FUN!

PHOTOKINA 2010: Kodak is offering you a way of printing all the collages and frames you like with out a single artistic bone in your body. The Kodak Pynch kiosk has been on trial in the US and provides an automatic way to match your needs without having to do any cropping, resizing or rearranging yourself.


This digital printer uses smart software to not only detect where the relevant parts of your shots are but also how to best snip and fit them into any given frame size you could possibly have. Better still, it also comes with an ID card so that the machine can remember the precise dimensions of your choosing without having to remeasure or bring the thing in each time.

From the name of the service you really get no idea what Kodak has unveiled. You go to the store with your photos on media of some sort. You pick a frame style that you want hanging on the wall or sitting on the table and scan the bar code for the frame at the Pynk kiosk.

Then you select the images that you want in the photo frame via whatever method you chose to upload them and the kiosk takes those photos, sizes them, crops them, and then prints a single sheet with the photos on it perfectly arranged and sized for the frame you choose. Before you had to spend time cutting, printing, and sometimes taping photos together in one of these collage fames to compete the same thing

– Eastman Kodak Co. has a new trick for its retailer kiosks: a hassle-free way to create photo collages that fit various frames with precut cardboard mats.

The picture-taking pioneer has been scrambling to counter eroding profits from photo processing over the last decade by reeling in custom-photo customers via retail channels. In typical fashion, its PYNK Smart Print system will try to catch the eye of the hustling masses.

"We're opening up a whole new print-to-fit category," said Rowan Lawson, a marketing director in Kodak's consumer digital group. "It goes back to Kodak's DNA: 'You press the button, we do the rest.'

"With the advent of digital photography, nobody has properly solved putting multiple photos together at the press of one button. If you don't make it that simple, it's not going to happen."

Kodak unveiled the new kiosk software Monday on the eve of Photokina, the world's largest photo-products trade show held annually in Cologne, Germany. The company has installed 100,000 self-service kiosks at retail businesses worldwide since 1993 and will roll out the collage option beginning Dec. 1 at 5,000 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide.

The patented technology automatically enlarges, shrinks, crops, aligns and arranges as many as 13 images on one print.

The catch? The system is packaged to pull in a tidy profit. Aside from the collage, customers must also purchase a mat with anywhere from two to 13 slots for photos of various sizes, or a frame with a mat. A 6-by-8-inch print plus an 8-by-10 frame will retail for $17; an 8-by-10-inch print and mat will cost $11.

"I would not balk at the price," said Barbara Koff, a cosmetics sales consultant in White Plains, N.Y., who bought a framed collage as a surprise gift for her niece during a three-month Kodak trial run this summer at 32 drugstores in Westchester County, near New York City.

"It's very quick, very easy, and you feel you've created something you'd have to pay $50, $60 to do in a photography store," Koff said. "It put the smaller pictures that weren't as important to me in the smaller slots and the ones I wanted larger were a little bit enlarged. It's almost like the machine knew."

Kodak plans partnerships with frame makers offering a variety of frame sizes and mat configurations.

In the tumultuous digital era, the print side has been through a rocky decade. The number of digital and film images converted into conventional prints has tumbled from a peak of 30.3 billion in 2000 to around 17.7 billion in 2009, according to Photo Marketing Association International.

Overall revenues are rising, however, as alternatives to traditional 4-by-6-inch snapshots blossom, from putting computer reproductions of images onto posters and postcards to T-shirts and bronze plaques. U.S. sales in the specialty market soared from $738 million in 2006 to $1.3 billion last year, said Gary Pageau, the Jackson, Mich.-based trade group's publisher.

"Most creative collage systems in the market don't really take the presentation into account — you create the collage but then you have to mount or frame it," Pageau said. "Kodak is taking it all the way to the wall."

In both film and digital arenas, products that offer "an extraordinarily easy, high quality, end-to-end solution" usually win out, and photo collages catch the imagination, Pageau said. "When you're at a family event, there's not just one picture, there's typically two or three that really describe the scene."

Now print banners and large poster-sized images with Kodak's "BIG" app.

In 2012, the trend will be to digitize your photos for better preservation and to more easily and instantly share your precious photo memories.
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