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.



Printicular provides 4 million prints



More than four million prints have been made from mobile phones using the Printicular apps, developer MEA Mobile reports. “Millions of prints means millions of smiles,” the company says.

The free Printicular apps let you order prints from a mobile that is picked up at Walgreens in the USA, or for delivered to your home worldwide.

Printicular “shows that physical prints are still the best way to turn digital images into the memories people want to cherish,” the company says. “Printicular now generates over a quarter of a million prints a month, and growing.”

The company also released new PhotoCard and Poster printing apps.

PMA refines mission statement, sets new goals


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallThe Board of Directors of PMA has refined the PMA mission statement and set new objectives for member services, resources, and support. The new mission statement, which expands on the previous mission, “Promote the growth of the imaging industry,” now details specific areas of focus:

“Evolve the imaging business community worldwide by promoting innovation, marketing, technology, and passion for photography.”

The refined mission statement arose from the work of a committee comprised of key industry members: Gaby Mullinax of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, Calif.; Marsha Phillips of F-11 Photographic Supplies in Bozeman, Mont.; Jerry Sullivan of Precision Camera in Austin, Texas; and chaired by PMA past-president Allen Showalter of King Photo/Showalter Imaging Group in Harrisonburg, Va.

Along with the refined mission statement come a number of plans for new, additional ways to help PMA members grow their businesses and to advance the industry as a whole.

Included are the continuation of the consumer facing Big Photo Show in various formats; the development of a Big Photo Show kit, which would help photo retailers host their own Big Photo Show events in their local markets; continued support and development of certifications; social media programs for members; additional promotion of National Photo Month and the establishment of a National Photo Store Day; continued legal support; and ongoing work with other industry groups to help market and promote revenue generating aspects of photography.

“Our mission and focus must be clear and targeted to the industry needs of today. We recognize that the basic motivation in our industry is the passion for photography. Photography is not going away because technology has caused a paradigm shift; in fact, the passion is stronger than ever, because it’s more convenient to capture and share images than ever before in human history,” said PMA President Bill Eklund of Sharp Photo & Portrait, Eau Claire, Wis. “PMA, as the industry’s worldwide photo association, needs to help its members evolve by promoting innovation and technology; providing networking events like the PMA Conferences and PMA@CES to help our members with idea sharing and marketing their products and services; and fueling consumer passion for photography with information and education events like the Big Photo Show. We are excited to unveil our refined mission statement, and to offer these new and expanded resources and tools to our members.”

MMIE: Take part in Save Your Photos Day


MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #567 – July 29, 2014

Remember those movie trailers, with the spinning newspaper front page, and the voiceover “Ripped from today’s headlines” . . .? Well, here’s something that is, indeed, ripped from today’s headlines, and with a natural connection to your business.

It’s called “Save Your Photos Day.”

“The Save Your Photos Alliance has started a grass roots initiative called Save Your Photos Day, Saturday, Sept. 27, an international event for those who appreciate that every life is a story worth preserving and sharing. Thus, this is a perfect fit for all photo retailers/labs. Please join us,” says Cathi Nelson, alliance founder, and founder of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers. mmie 567

Every year there are hundreds of disasters throughout the world – fire, flood, earthquake, mudslide, tornado, war, theft, technology crashes – with family photos and historical memorabilia among the worst things to lose.

The alliance is a diverse group formed to address ways to educate people on what to do before a disaster strikes. You can join in by going to the alliance’s website and clicking on “Get Involved.” You can also listen to a webinar for information.

Save Your Photos Day is an international event with presentations and hands-on workshops to provide education and tools for collecting, organizing, and safeguarding  photos, documents, videos, and other memorabilia. There’s a free kit you can get from the website, with all the information needed to host two types of events, either a one-hour education seminar or a community event that includes other local businesses. The kit includes logos, a sample press release, event check list, educational presentation, and fact sheet.

As Nelson notes, there are five ways you can get involved:

1. Hold your own event at your location.

2. Team up with other professionals in your area and plan a community event.

3. Participate in an event already planned – for example in Hartford, CT there’s an event planned at the CT Historical Society.

4. Provide a subject matter expert for an event already planned in your area.

5. Promote an event in your area even if you aren’t participating.

Seems like a natural. Get your free kit today and start your customers acting to saving their photos.

It’s your turn!

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• The archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange contain more than 1,000 marketing ideas as a resource for you:

Amazon opens 3D Printed Products Store


BobbleWhole[1]Today, Amazon launched the 3D Printed Products Store, which it calls “a marketplace that gives customers access to more than 200 unique print on-demand products, many that can be customized by material, size, styles and color variations, and personalized with text and image imprints.” The store features products like jewelry, toys, home décor and fashion accessories.

“The 3D Printed Products store enables every customer the opportunity to be a product designer. From pendants to decorative vases to bobble head figurines, the new store features a broad selection of items to foster creativity. The store includes modestly priced customizable items sellers are currently offering for under $40, including cufflinks, bobble head figurines and funky wine glass holders. In the $100 price range, customers can design customized fashion accessories like pendants, earrings and necklaces,” Amazon said in an announcement.

Liberty marks 30th anniversary


libertyLiberty Synergistics is celebrating 30 years in business. Ron Green founded Liberty in 1984, initially as a supplier of plastic and stainless steel ball bearings to the photo and motion picture industries. Over the past 30 years, Liberty has grown significantly to meet the product, parts and accessories needs of wholesale and retail image processing companies across the USA and internationally. In recent years, Liberty added a fulfillment division, ivoke, making millions of personalized products. ivoke is a production and fulfillment powerhouse, working behind the scenes of many companies, brands, photographers and artists.

“We are continuing to realign our product offerings to include all the new innovative products that allow us to personalize our lives through imaging,” comments Green, CEO.

As a testament to Liberty’s commitment to the evolving imaging and personalization industry, the Company is launching a new website,, in August. Using the latest web and e-commerce technology, the new site offers a broad array of products to help imaging and personalization companies grow their revenue. From wide format printing to sublimation, direct print and mounting, Liberty2create offers a broad line of products to help labs increase their revenues and provide new and differentiated products to their customers.

Check back often, as the site will continually be updated with how-to videos, new products, and more.

Mediaclip’s responsive photo tool for tablets builds on HTML 5


Mediaclip-tabletWhite-label software developer Mediaclip says its new HTML5 builder “provides tablet and mobile users with an optimized, easy to use experience” while also maintaining compatibility with your backend infrastructure and content library assets.

The Montreal-based company says the builders for photo books and photo gifts “are just the first step toward Mediaclip’s new modular product vision.” The upcoming approach to the merchandising of personalized products will include “the complete range of tools and capabilities required to virtually redefine both product merchandising as well as the on-line shopping experience and raise mass market awareness of the value of customized photo gifts and products.”

The HTML5 builder “provides a stunning photorealistic preview that lets customers see what their photo book or gift would look like, triggering the buying impulse,” the company adds.

Mediaclip is also introducing a “Smart Design” with designs that fit all products or sizes, and is dynamic and responsive.

There’s more information here.


Selfies spur Sony sensor sales


sony-curved-sensor-chartSony is already leading the market when it comes to the primary image sensors in smart phones — but many shots these days are “selfies” taken with the lower-resolution secondary camera …and now Sony wants a piece of that action, Reuters reports.

Sony will invest $345 million to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, the news story says. “The Japanese firm said it will increase production of stacked CMOS sensors at two factories on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, while completing work on a factory in northwestern Japan it bought from Renesas Electronics.” The investment will allow Sony to raise production by 13 percent to 68,000 wafers a month by August 2015.

Sony currently supplies sensors for the main camera in Apple’s iPhone, Reuters adds, and the company leads Omnivision Technologies “whose sensors are mostly used in front-facing smartphone modules that typically have lower specifications than the main rear camera.”

The full article is here.

There are also reported rumors that the company’s curved sensor design is already heading to phones as well.

Get your events in front of photo enthusiasts — for free — in The Big Photo Show community


TheBigPhotoShow_verticalAs you’ve all heard, The Big Photo Show in Los Angeles was a huge success, drawing thousands of people to photo shoots, demos, workshops, and exhibits.

Luckily, millions of photo enthusiasts around the globe don’t have to wait for a local PMA consumer event or even live near one. They can visit 24/7 year round, and share their passion for photography, enter contests featuring great prizes, and enjoy videos and articles from photography experts like Erin Manning, Mark Comon and Duane Cassone.

They’re also looking for photo events, classes, and manufacturer demo/shoots: add yours to the Event Calendar so photo enthusiasts can see what’s happening near them.

It’s easy – just create a free basic account and then add your details to the Calendar of Events while logged in.

We’re delighted to provide The Big Photo Show website as one of our many member benefits, connecting our PMA members with photo enthusiasts and promoting the photo-imaging industry worldwide. Be sure to spread the word to all your customers!

ArcSoft, Canon each offer new printing products

arcsoft perfect365

arcsoft perfect365Imaging technology developer ArcSoft partnered with Mixbook to let users of its Perfect365 makeover program “use their flawlessly-edited images to create lasting memories in a Mosaic photo book – a sleek, 20-page album that can be created in less than five minutes.”

Perfect365 uses face detection to “automatically map a person’s eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth and hairline,” the company says. “This allows users to create professional-looking touched-up photos by choosing from dozens of pre-set templates for a flattering, realistic makeover inspired by today’s hottest styles, timeless looks or natural palettes. Users can also customize their look with nearly 20 tweaking tools that whiten teeth, brighten eyes, banish blemishes and much more.”

When 20 images are perfected, they can be added to a Mosaic with a few clicks, and made into a 7×7-inch photo book for a flat rate of $20 plus shipping. ArcSoft adds that “The great thing about photo albums is that they keep your favorite memories accessible and tangible. It’s a conversation starter, a great gift, or the kind of item you want displayed on your coffee table.”

• Canon says its mobile print offering works on top of Android’s recently announced printing framework and “enables users to print their business documents, personal documents and photographs to Canon printing systems over a wireless network.”

With the Canon Print Service “users who already own compatible Canon systems don’t need to upgrade their printers, nor download new driver software,” the company says.

It’s available here.