March 08, 2005

Kiosks at PMA

Kiosks Dominate In-Store Printing Options

By Greg Scoblete -- TWICE, 3/7/2005

Orlando, Fla. Reflecting the surge in in-store printing among digital camera owners, kiosk and digital minilab vendors hit PMA in force, hoping to secure retail real estate with faster, smaller and more functional printers.

Konica Minolta introduced the new R3 Super 1000 digital minilab system with a footprint of 15.1 square feet. The lab uses the companys Solid state Electro-optic shutter Array Device (S.E.A.D.) technology, in this case a 12-inch S.E.A.D. exposure engine to achieve a 400 dpi resolution.

Additional features include a double magazine unit, in-line one-touch CD writing, Kodaks Digital ICE image correction software, image archiving and red-eye correction.

The company also introduced its Photo Link kiosk, available as a tabletop unit connected to a minilab or as a stand-alone self-service print kiosk when used with an optional printer. The unit features a touch-screen panel with instructions in multiple languages, built-in speakers and video clip-driven guides. The kiosk accepts all the major memory card formats and lets consumers add pre-formatted borders, special effects, perform photo editing or create photo calendars on screen.

To use the Photo Link as a stand-alone print-kiosk, Konica Minolta will offer a 4-inch by 6-inch dye-sublimation printer capable of making a print in 12 seconds. They will also offer a receipt and label printer.

Lucidiom introduced two new retail kiosks in addition to a software for analyzing kiosk performance. The Automated Photo Machine (APM) 1500, list price $5,500, is a counter-top model featuring a 15-inch touch-screen LCD, slots for camera media cards in addition to a built-in receipt printer and CD burner. It can be connected to an inkjet or dye-sublimation printer or a minilab.

The company also introduced a kiosk with built-in 4-inch by 6-inch and/or a 5-inch by 7-inch dye-sub printer in the APM 6000, list price $7,900. It features a credit card reader, flash memory card readers, a CD burner/DVD reader, and 15-inch touch-screen LCD.

The company also unveiled a Web-based kiosk management tool called APM ProfitWatcher, which lets kiosk owners remotely monitor kiosk performance using a Web-based interface. The system allows retailers to track kiosk use, adjust pricing, and send new content to individual units.

Noritsu added two new dry printing minilabs designed for low volume stores to produce photo prints without a chemical process. The dDP-421 and 621 minilabs use 7-color pigment inkjet technology to produce images from digital media. They offer a footprint of 11 square feet and print sizes up to 12 inches by 18 inches. The 621 can produce 385 4-inch by 6-inch prints per hour.

Sony introduced a thinner version of its PictureStation kiosk, measuring in at 63 inches by 17 inches by 23 inches, which will be offered alongside the full-sized deluxe model of the PictureStation. The slimline model features Sonys new UP-DR150 dye sublimation printer, which can fire out a 4-inch by 6-inch print in just 8 seconds and a 5-inch by 7-inch print in 15 seconds.

The printer can also produce wallet, 3.5-inch by 5-inch and 6-inch by 8-inch sized prints and offers wireless or wired credit card capability. The kiosk will be available in March with either a single or dual UP-DR150 printer option. The PS150SLM1/BL with a single printer has a suggested list price of $7,995. The dual printer PS150SLM2/BL has a suggested list price of $9,995.

Pixology announced a Web-based kiosk management tool for its retail partners. The system lets users track orders and kiosk use in addition to remotely diagnosis and monitor kiosk functioning.

YesVideo unveiled the YesDVD Generator kiosk for transferring photos and video clips from flash memory to a DVD. The unit accepts the major memory card formats in addition to images stored on CDs/DVDs and USB flash drives and saves photos and video as an MPEG-2 slideshow with music capable of playback on a DVD player. The kiosk can process 50 customer orders per hour and offers a touch-screen interface with step-by-step instructions for guiding consumers through the DVD creation process. It will ship to retailers in April.

Posted by Craig at March 8, 2005 02:32 PM