Kodak Alaris unveils innovations

KioskConnectApp

KioskConnectApp

It was only a year ago that “a new company was born from one of the world’s most iconic brands.” Kodak Alaris says it is now “on a mission to help consumers unlock the power of their images through innovative technology and state of the art printing solutions,” and this week it showed off some of the latest in both areas.

“In a world where we capture and share more images than ever before, we’re passionate about helping people capture, keep, share, relive and celebrate their precious moments as easily as possible,” the company says.

There’ve been more than six million downloads of its Moments app, and on the Android version they added the “Tell my Story” function that combine three images with voice-over narration. (It will also be available for iOS soon.)

The tablet version is “specifically designed to take advantage of the larger format and enhanced touchscreen functionality,” and creates photo books and prints “in an expanded range of sizes.” The company says its Smartfit Technology “preserves the complete content of pictures without cropping, regardless of format, including panoramic images.”

Kodak Alaris is also now offering retailers the ability to capability to print Square pics, “to instantly turn photos into “retro” prints.”

And the company says its “opened its worldwide Kiosk network to content providers.” This provides a revenue opportunity for retailers and third party developers while offering consumers a pathway to create physical output from their captured moments, Kodak Alaris adds. “This program removes barriers to printing by giving consumers an easy-to-use, proven way to print from mobile, desktop and web applications. They simply choose what they wish to print, pick the most convenient retail location at which to pick-up products, and place their order, all from their favorite devices at home or anywhere.”

There’s more information here.

 

On the PMA Podcast: President Jirair Christianian on the future of DIMA

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PMApodcast_icon_1024What are the goals of the Digital Imaging Marketing Association? What can DIMA accomplish? Listen in to this conversation with DIMA President Jirair Christianian, and then let us know what you’d like to see DIMA do for our members. Jirair  runs the family-owned chain of Mike’s Camera stores in Colorado and California.

Listen in at www.pmapodcast.org, or use the player below.

PMA Podcast launches with new ideas to grow your business from the McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange

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PMApodcast_icon_1024The brand new PMA Podcast is here! On this inaugural episode, listen to a great McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange interview.

The PMA Podcast is the podcast for anyone whose business revolves around imaging and pictures. We’ll cover topics like increasing sales, new imaging technology, the latest in picture framing, business management tips, advances in photo output, high volume photography, and much more. Designed for members of PMA and its international community of imaging associations — AIE, DIMA, NAPET, PPFA, PSPA, and SPAA — the PMA Podcast is your weekly source of information to help you grow your business. If you’re a fan of the DIMAcast or the AIE Imaging Executive podcast, you’ll find all the great content you’re used to and lots more, now all in one place, on the PMA Podcast at www.pmapodcast.org.

And now, on with the show!

When the landlord wasn’t cooperative to renew their lease, Calagaz Photo and Digital Imaging found a new location, remodeled it, fixtured it and moved in — all within 30 days. Most impressively, they changed the ambiance and tenor of the store to attract more female shoppers with bigger budgets. Pauline McKean shares how they escalated the “Wow!” factor to delight their customers. The microphone then switches to Alex Christianian of Mike’s Camera, who shares advice on setting realistic expectations for satisfied customers. Mike’s displays and training help ensure the customer understands what they will get for their money. Two progressive retailers share philosophies and strategies you can use during the inaugural episode of the PMA Podcast.

The new issue of PMA Magazine is here

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Magazine_issue092014_700x388I’m excited for you to see all the great articles in the new, September/October issue of PMA Magazine – Connecting the Imaging Communities, which is now available online. In this issue, you can read about PMA’s newly refined mission statement, and discover new and continuing ways we will bring you the tools and information you need to keep growing your business into the future.

You will also learn the fascinating story behind Orms, a whole community of imaging businesses in South Africa, which all began in a Cape Town garage. It’s truly a remarkable story that you won’t want to miss.

Also in this issue, be sure to check out:

  • The sweet spot – With a small-town, big-heart philosophy, Picture This Jackson deserves its great success
  • Bringing photo chaos to order – How APPO members are helping consumers get organized – and find those “printworthy” pictures
  • Calumet makes bold moves – Thriving in four European countries, Calumet sets its sights on more markets, including a return to the U.S.
  • Deep dive into social imaging – A new report from InfoTrends makes an in-depth examination of consumer imaging behaviors
  • Easy, beautiful, archival – With its simple subscription print model and unique packaging, timeshel’s time has come

Coming soon: The new PMA Podcast

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PMAlogo_CMYK_smallI’m excited to announce that we will be launching the new PMA Podcast in September!MIME Logo PMAN

The PMA Podcast is the podcast for anyone whose business revolves around imaging and pictures. We’ll cover topics like increasing sales, new imaging technology, the latest in picture framing, business management tips, advances in photo output, high volume photography, and much more. Designed for members of PMA and its international community of imaging associations — AIE, DIMA, NAPET, PPFA, PSPA, and SPAA — the PMA Podcast is your weekly source of information to help you grow your business.

If you’re a fan of the DIMAcast or the AIE Imaging Executive podcast, you’ll find all the great content you’re used to — including our friend Bill McCurry‘s monthly McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange podcast and transcripts — and lots more, now all in one place, on the PMA Podcast.

Look for the first episode on September 8, followed by a great new interview every week.

PMA Australia’s Educational Photo Expo in Brisbane: A perspective

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Photo Expo 2014 BannerPMA Australia had a smashing success with its first Educational Photo Expo, sponsored by Canon and Nikon. This event, held over the weekend in Brisbane, drew large crowds and lots of excitement. On Sept. 6, a second event will be held in Melbourne. Here’s a look at the Brisbane expo, from the perspective of speaker John Swainston:

“More than 300 Brisbane folk braved wet and windy weather to join Australia’s PMA team and some committed exhibitors from the leading camera and accessory brands. As a speaker at many trade events for PMA over the past 30 years this was the first in Australia that embraced consumers exclusively  in such an intimate way. My topic was “All you need to know about selecting the right gear for your next travel adventure.” We took our attendees through iPhoneography, Point & Shoot, Mirrorless, All-in-one Tamron megazoom SLR photography and ‘The Works’ – f/2.8 glass where photography is the goal of the trip. What impressed me was the deep knowledge of so many attendees. But for many others, they had come to this PMA event because even with the Internet and good dealers locally, they were not getting the broad answers they needed to properly assess what would work for them. As we’ve seen at past International PMA events, and indeed PRO get-togethers in the US,  Camera House conferences in Australia, and I dare say Ringfoto member events in Germany, it’s this quest for knowledge that specialty retailers need to ramp up, to engage consumers who want to progress their image making, but don’t quite have the confidence to do it on their own. Photo Education, improved print services in many new forms were all high on the list of attendee priorities.pma_educational_pho#172C361

I didn’t get to see enough of the other presentations to be able to comment more broadly, except the fine talk on creating personal hard copy recipe books through Photo Book publishing, presented by the Momento Australia team. I loved that the illustrations were by Australian Pro photographer Penelope Beveridge, the award-winning and highly respected food and Photo Art photographer. The combination of inspiring images with useful how-to from Momento meant the audience found their way through perceived obstacles and were likely to go out and use the service. The ever present former DIMA president Phil Gresham was there presenting Fotofast’s latest services, as was the venerable Streets Imaging pro lab group.

The new Fujifilm tabletop print machine at a very affordable price, offering 8 inch paper roll print abilities attracted heaps of interest, as it opens up the world of Sweep Panorama prints from iPhone and other Smartphones, not to forget conventional digital cameras. This will work for even the smallest of Specialist retailers. Pro photographers interested in expanding their range of customer services could also use this as a custom print device based out of their studios. I came away with a strong impression that print and film to digital services  are likely to see significant improvements in the next decade as baby boomers start on consolidating their life’s images across various media.

Canon, Fujifilm and Olympus were very evident with their Interchangeable camera systems, while Nikon was represented in various retailer exhibitors, most notably Ted’s. Many people I talked with were coming from DSLR photography and especially interested in weight reduction in their future photography, as well as being less obtrusive. Vendors were able to show just how compact today’s Mirrorless offerings are, as well as demonstrate outstanding image quality and affordability.

While I can’t say I saw every aspect of the day, the overwhelming impression was one of keen excitement, exhibitors who were happy with the quality of the attendees and their interest level, as well as an affordable cost to exhibit. If resources and funds had been more extensive, a fuller PR effort might have produced even higher numbers and a few pro attendees, through that was not the primary audience. As a first effort, pretty darn good.

Next up it’s Melbourne, on Saturday September 6 at Victoria University. Another great group of speakers; my particular pick will be Canon Australia’s Jay Collier, with whom I share an August birthday. His wildlife images are something to behold. For my own part I look forward to engaging with the many new customers to more advanced photography, for whom such events are a wonderful, uncomplicated way to engage with contemporary image making, whether from a Smartphone or an advanced full frame DSLR.

John Swainston has been an active member of the photo industry for more than 4 decades, speaking widely to camera clubs and industry meetings around the world. He is a Senior Vice President at DayMen, parent company for the Lowepro & JOBY brands. He is a passionate photographer.

Free sales analytics for retailers

Square Analytics

Square Analytics

Would you like to know more about your business’ sales patterns — without paying a premium for the intel? Transaction services company Square is offering small businesses a suite of analytics tools to help sellers track how their business is performing in real-time, Silicon Beat reports.

The service is free for those using Square’s point-of-sale system. “Expensive annual fees, tedious set-up processes, and irrelevant, generalized reports have traditionally excluded small business owners from useful information available to larger merchants,” the company says.

The analytics tools show merchants their top-selling items and categories, what time of day is the most profitable — including hour by hour trends — and how their business is performing compared to industry averages in real-time, according to the company.

There’s more information here.

 

Stereo Daguerreotypes in New Zealand for World Photo Day

new zealand daguerreotype

new zealand daguerreotype

At Snapshot Cameras in New Zealand, they celebrated World Photo Day in style. Because the 175th anniversary of photography coincided with the 150th anniversary of the city of Hamilton, the store owners thought it fitting to invite their local contemporary Daguerreotypist to help them celebrate.

The store first dates back to 1928, and has been owned by the Boswell family since 1946.

Photo Organizer Jill Boswell reports Alan Bekhuis from Cased Images created a stereo image from two daguerreotypes, for which each silver-coated copper plate must be brought to a high mirror polish and sensitized to light with iodine and bromine. The plate is then exposed in the camera and developed over heated mercury to reveal the latent image.  “Exposed plates must be developed within a very short time of exposure so our guest brought his mobile darkroom, complete with fume cupboard, along on the day to both prepare and to develop the plates.”

boswellSnapshot Cameras also provided in store displays of antique and classic cameras, a reproduction of the first folding whole plate camera, and some images captured using older techniques, Boswell adds.

Sam Boswell produced a video of the day which can be viewed here.

Retailers: Survive Amazon’s Fire

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amazon firefly“For traditional retailers, Amazon has long been the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” comments John Haro, CTO of mobile wallet management company Vibes. He wrote at TechCrunch about the new threat from Amazon’s Fire phone, and the Firefly software which recognizes products purchasable on Amazon.

“Showrooming emerged as early as 2011, when Amazon offered consumers up to $15 off to price check items in-store,” he adds. “Clearly, the purpose of both Firefly and Amazon Wallet are to make it even easier for consumers to purchase items from the e-commerce giant.”

What can you do to fend off the Fire? Haro details tactics such as:

1. Leverage existing mobile wallet apps

2. Get onto the mobile lock screen

3. Create a mobile loyalty program

Here is the full article.

 

MIT develops vision-correcting displays

MIT corrects vision 3

MIT corrects vision 1

Are you squinting at your phone? I am, and I’m tired of it. Fortunately new technology could solve the issue not just with bigger fonts, but with an overlay screen that could tailor every device to your own individual optical prescription.

MIT Media Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects — no glasses (or contact lenses) required, MIT reports. “The technique could lead to dashboard-mounted GPS displays that farsighted drivers can consult without putting their glasses on, or electronic readers that eliminate the need for reading glasses, among other applications.”

MIT corrects vision 2

The solution “basically puts the glasses on the display, rather than on your head,” the chief scientist behind it says. “It will not be able to help you see the rest of the world more sharply, but today, we spend a huge portion of our time interacting with the digital world.”

The display is a variation on a glasses-free 3D technology, and projects slightly different images to different parts of the viewer’s pupil. “A vision defect is a mismatch between the eye’s focal distance — the range at which it can actually bring objects into focus — and the distance of the object it’s trying to focus on,” MIT says. “Essentially, the new display simulates an image at the correct focal distance — somewhere between the display and the viewer’s eye.”

MIT corrects vision 3

The full story is here.