American Crafts offers digital scrapbooking kits through My Memories

My Memories, Salt Lake City, Utah, recently added American Crafts to its team of digital scrapbooking kit designers. With more than a decade’s worth of experience providing innovative and high quality scrapbook products, American Crafts has just introduced a series of digital scrapbook kits—including the new Backyard series—now available at the My Memories digital scrapbooking site.

In the Sept. issue of The Imaging Executive: Do I look like I care?

Do I look like a person who cares? I hope so, says author and management expert Larry Johnson in the new issue of The Imaging Executive.

He writes:

A friend of mine, I’ll call him Paul, recently went through the pain of a divorce. He came home one day to discover a note from Julie, his now ex-wife, saying she was unhappy and wanted out. In subsequent conversations, she told him that she’d grown tired of his bullying manner, the fact that he never listened to her, and that he always had to have his way.

Paul hadn’t seen it coming. It never occurred to him that she perceived him this way. In fact, he said, she never complained about the way they communicated at all, so he assumed everything was fine.

One never knows what really goes on in a marriage, but on the surface, it appears this was a classic case of opposite personality styles clashing. Paul’s aggressive, take-charge approach to life clashed with her lack of confidence and disinclination to speak up. What’s worse is that these style differences tend to exacerbate each other. Aggressive types like Paul will often make a decision and dictate it to their partners.

“Let’s go to Fredo’s tonight for dinner, honey. You call them and make reservations for 8:00 p.m. and I’ll meet you there?” They usually will interpret lack of protest from the other person as agreement, so when she replies in a less-than enthusiastic tone, “OK,” the Pauls of the world assume she’s on board with the decision.

Meanwhile, passive types like Julie often think that since they weren’t asked, their opinion is not valued; so they nod in agreement, but seethe with resentment inside. Repeat these kinds of encounters day after day, with no push back from her to let him know he’s being a bully and no inquiry on his part to find out how she feels, and eventually, the relationship will sour.

“So,” you ask, “what’s all this have to do with managing people?”

Everything.

In their bestseller, “First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently,” Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman published some remarkable results of studies they conducted at the Gallup organization. They came upon a list of 12 critical perceptions employees have of their jobs that have a statistically significant impact on the levels of profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction ratings, and employee turnover rates for their teams.

Members of the Association of Imaging Executives (AIE) can read the rest of this article and more in the September issue of The Imaging Executive.

To learn how to join an received this newsletter every month,  contact the PMA Membership Department.

Augmented Reality and Frankencamera highlight 6Sight conference

The 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference will feature two leading imaging technology researchers as the 2010 keynote speakers. The November 15-17 conference at The Sainte Claire hotel in San Jose, Calif., will focus on some of the most important and innovative topics in photo imaging, including augmented reality, computational photography, connected cameras, 3D cameras and displays, digital video, advanced output, and smarter camera phones.

Augmented reality (AR) merges image capture, display, computation, and connectivity to overlay information and graphics on top of our real-time view of the world around us. This innovative development leads off day one of the conference, with a keynote presentation from Blair MacIntyre, director of the Augmented Environments Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has conducted AR research for 17 years, developing AR potential as a new medium for games, entertainment, education, and work. MacIntyre will discuss how augmented reality will affect photo imaging in the near future and his work with Qualcomm, which recently joined with Georgia Tech to establish the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Game Studio. The research and design center is aimed at pioneering new advancements in mobile gaming and interactive media.

“I believe augmented reality will be a key technology driving the next generation of mobile phones, and I am excited 6Sight has chosen to make it a focus area for the conference this year,” says MacIntyre. “In the space of a few years, thanks to the increasing power of high-end camera phones, AR has moved from a topic of study in research labs to an exciting new way for millions of people to interact with smart-phone data out in the physical world. For the past decade, my colleagues and students in the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech have been creating tools and working with artists and designers to explore AR as a new medium. We’re excited to be able to apply what we’ve learned to creating and studying rich, interactive experiences on widely available mobile phones.”

Day two will focus on the future of digital cameras, with a keynote presentation by Marc Levoy, professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford University. Levoy’s work focuses on computational photography, the use of advanced algorithms and processing to take imaging far beyond the mere replacement of film with digital sensors we’ve seen so far in camera design. Levoy has worked on computer animation; displaying three-dimensional functions, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) data; and 3D laser scanning. Levoy also co-designed the Google book scanner and helped launch the Google Street View project. Levoy will demonstrate his current project, the “Frankencamera,” a fully programmable camera that embodies the ideal of capture devices that are open and can be customized, expanded, and upgraded.

“We (the Frankencamera research team) think you should be able to program your camera” says Levoy regarding his keynote address at 6Sight. “We think there should be plug-ins for cameras and app stores that sell these plug-ins. We’d like to democratize cameras the way the Maker Faire is democratizing crafts – so anyone can play.”

6Sight program topics include:

  • 3D cameras, printers, and big-screen TVs: The new opportunities for companies in the imaging business offered by 3D technology and its new infrastructures and ecosystems.
  • Advances in output: Revenue-generating prospects delivered by new output products and services that will transform photographic digital printing.
  • Augmented reality: AR merges image capture, display, computation, and connectivity to overlay information and graphics on top of our real-time view of the real world around us. This innovative development promises to impact imaging, entertainment, personal computers, and many other aspects of modern life.
  • Camera evolution: New technologies continue to advance photographic capture with improved image quality; faster shooting; smaller form factors; and other benefits for professionals, consumers, and enthusiasts.
  • Smarter camera phones: Mobile imaging already shook up the camera business once because suddenly everyone had a camera in their pocket: their phone. Now, top-of-the-line phones not only capture great photos, they provide amazing and fun imaging apps – functionality completely lacking in standard digital cameras. This presents challenges and possibilities for the imaging business.
  • Video: Video capture and display is everywhere, especially on social networking sites. But how is it being used, and who is benefiting? Our panel reports on services and other ways to monetize personal movie making.

Visit www.6Sight.com for the latest information about the 6Sight conference. Subscribe to The 6Sight Report (www.6SightReport.com) for weekly articles on these topics and much more.

“Our focus is on the future of imaging – and what better way to discover the path forward than invite some of the top imaging professors in the country to speak to our attendees about their research,” says Joe Byrd, 6Sight co-founder and president. “No one can predict the future; but at 6Sight, we help industry leaders discover developing technologies and work together to develop a brighter future for our industry. Examining AR and the Frankencamera more closely gives us two opportunities to peer into the future to see how these technologies will enrich the photo imaging experience.”

The AIE Output Summit, co-locating at 6Sight on Nov. 15, will take an in-depth look at the future of photographic output and the implications for imaging professionals. The top analysts in the photo and digital imaging industry will share their visions of the new landscape of digital output and present their most current data. A roundtable panel discussion will then dig into the implications behind the numbers. Leading digital printing companies will share their visions of the current market, changing behavioral patterns of customers, what new markets are emerging, and how to take advantage of all the opportunities available. The managers of the most innovative imaging facilities in the world will discuss how they have changed courses to adapt to the changes in technology and customer behavior, and where they see the next big opportunities.

6Sight welcomes comments on its program and conference in general on its Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/6sight) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/6sight) accounts.

Samsung introduces new CMOS imagers, NAND Flash for smartphones, green initiatives and more

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan, announced two new 1.4 micron CMOS imagers, the S5K4E5 and S5K2N1, adopting back side illuminated (BSI) pixel technology. With excellent performance capabilities in low light scenarios, each imager is optimized for target applications such as smartphones for the S5K4E5 and digital still cameras and digital video cameras for the S5K2N1.

“The demand for higher quality images and video with ever shrinking pixel size has pushed the new technology innovation curve in CMOS imagers,” said Dojun Rhee, vice president of Marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. “As such, CMOS image technology has become even more competitive in digital camera and video products that have been traditionally dominated by CCD technology. A small pixel size combined with best-in-class sensitivity under low light for still and video capture makes Samsung’s newest imagers ideal for traditional handheld cameras as well as smartphones.”

In contrast to the front side illumination technology, backside illumination collects photons from the backside of the pixel. The reversed structure moves the photodiode to the top maximizing photoelectric efficiency as the light is not scattered through the metal wiring and dielectric layers, which cause the loss of photons. Adoption of the BSI technology addresses the low light sensitivity concern common to CMOS image sensors as the pixel size reduces.

Samsung’s new BSI imagers show 30 percent enhancement in low light sensitivity over conventional front side illumination imagers of the same pixel size. By optimizing process parameters, Samsung was able to efficiently control crosstalk thereby improving the color, electrical and optical performance significantly.

The S5K4E5, a quarter-inch optical format 1.4 micron 5 megapixel (Mp) CMOS image sensor, is designed to support full resolution real-time video. By providing 30 frames per second (fps) full resolution frame rates it also enables the user to ‘catch the shot’ by capturing the frame as the user hits the shutter button thus reducing shot to shot lag time. The 5Mp imager has a wider chief ray angle that reduces the height of the imager package making it attractive for slim, small form factor smartphones with demanding z-height requirements.

The S5K2N1, a 1/2.33 inch optical format 1.4 micron 14.6Mp imager, offers 30fps capability at full resolution and leverages Samsung’s low-power 90 nanometer logic process technology. Samsung is able to offer a dedicated thermal enhanced plastic lead ceramic carrier (TePLCC) package to more effectively dissipate the heat generated by the high performance device.

These imagers also offer the ability to capture full high definition (HD) resolution video images at 60fps.

Samples of the 5Mp S5K4E5 are available now with mass production starting in the fourth quarter of this year. The 14.6Mp S5K2N1 is expected to start sampling in the fourth quarter of 2010 with production scheduled in the first quarter of 2011.

In addition, Samsung introduced high-performance 8-gigabyte GB and 16GB moviNAND embedded memory chips for use in smartphones.

The new solutions are the first memory devices in the industry fully compatible with the latest e-MMC specification, the JEDEC’s Embedded MultiMediaCard Product Standard v4.41, Samsung says.

Adopting the new higher performance e-MMC 4.41 specification, Samsung’s moviNAND can operate more efficiently than previous solutions developed under the e-MMC 4.4 specification by providing features that improve the responsiveness of the e-MMC device to the host or application processor.

Also new from Samsung is a 1GHz ARM CORTEX A9-based dual-core application processor, codenamed Orion, for advanced mobile applications. Device OEM developers now have a powerful dual processor chip platform designed specifically to meet the needs of high-performance, low-power mobile applications including tablets, netbooks and smartphones.

“Consumers are demanding the full web experience without compromise while on the go,” said Rhee. “Given this trend, mobile device designers need an application processor platform that delivers superb multimedia performance, fast CPU processing speed, and abundant memory bandwidth. Samsung’s newest dual core application processor chip is designed specifically to fulfill such stringent performance requirements while maintaining long battery life.”

Designed using Samsung’s 45 nanometer low-power process technology, Orion features a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, each comes with a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. Samsung also included a 1MB L2 cache to optimize CPU processing performance and provide fast context switching in a multi-tasking environment. In addition, the memory interface and bus architecture of Orion supports data intensive multimedia applications including full HD video playback and high speed 3D action games.

Samsung further announces it has expanded its ‘Green Memory’ initiative going beyond DRAM and solid state drives (SSDs) to include several memory products for PC and mobile application areas.

Samsung’s ‘Green Memory’ initiative will now include Samsung LPDDR2 and GDDR5 green memory as well as its GreenDDR3 and Green SSDs.

Stepping up its efforts to increase worldwide interest in Green IT products and eco-friendly solutions, a new website (http://www.samsung.com/GreenMemory) has been launched to promote the expanded initiative to OEM customers and consumers. It provides detailed information on Samsung’s green product strategies and green-focused partners, for all three market areas, as well as industry-wide green IT trends

PMA TV Classics channel presents “The new brand world”

This week on the PMA TV Classics channel is a video of PMA 2005 Official Business Session speaker Scott Bedbury, CEO of Brandstream Inc. In this video, he provides an indispensable guide to transcending the tangible aspects of a product or service and creating a deeper, more enduring relationship with customers.

Smartphone shipments to hit $94 billion by 2015

A new report by Juniper Research, Hampshire, United Kingdom, called “Next Generation Smartphones: Strategic Opportunities & Markets 2010-2015,” finds 3D functionality and other technology innovations, such as the introduction of dual core processors, will drive the high-end smartphone market over the next five years.

Features associated with today’s smartphones, meanwhile, such as app store connectivity and touchscreens, will be present in over 80 percent of handsets shipped in the US by 2015. Western Europe and Far East & China are also demonstrating significant take-up.

“The handset market will become increasingly polarized,” says Anthony Cox, senior analyst at Juniper. “Handsets with smartphone functionality will account for the lion’s share of shipments in developed markets, while less developed economies will see a ready market for low cost handsets.”

However, several less developed markets, such as parts of Latin America and Africa, will all but miss out on the smartphone revolution. Meanwhile the global mid-tier market, characterized by feature phones and standard handsets, will continue to contract.

Further findings from the “Next Generation Smartphones” report include:

  • The take-up of video calling using the mobile device will be limited, even with the launch of FaceTime by Apple.
  • Competition will drive smartphone pricing down, though this may be mitigated against by the launch of handsets with new functionality
  • The combination of the smartphone and the app store will result in substantial increases in data usage over the smartphone device

The report finds that Apple’s operating system has revolutionized the market, leaving several well-known players in its wake. The challenge for the likes of Nokia, Research in Motion and Microsoft is not only to bring new operating systems to the table as quickly as possible, but also to make sure that developers create apps for them when there are two successful stores out there already.

Further details of Next Generation Smartphones: Strategic Opportunities & Markets 2010-2015 can be downloaded from www.juniperresearch.com.

Oracle hires Mark Hurd as president

Oracle Inc., Redwood Shores, Calif.,  announced Mark V. Hurd has joined Oracle as president and was named to Oracle’s board of directors. Hurd reports to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Hurd is the former HP Co. CEO and president, who resigned a month ago following an investigation of a sexual harassment claim.