By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Emeryville, Calif.— Kodak subsidiary Ofoto launched a premium online photo-storage and sharing service that lets camera-phone users share photos with PC users and with other camera-phone users, even if their phones operate on different networks.
The service, called Kodak Mobile (www.kmobile.com), is accessible via a Web-enabled phone equipped with WAP 2.0 browser. The cost is $2.99 per month and is billed to a credit card.
Access to the service is also integrated into the menus of camera phones available from Cingular, reducing the number of clicks needed to use the service. Charges of $2.99 per month are included on Cingular bills. Cingular chose Kodak Mobile as its sole photo-sharing service.
Likewise, Nokia 3600-series Symbian-based smartphones have been optimized to access the service, and these phones can upload a digital image with one click, said James Joaquin, Ofoto's executive VP.
Compared to other wireless carriers' photo-sharing services, Kodak Mobile offers multiple advantages, Joaquin claimed. For example, Ofoto's service stores a camera-phone's video clips as well as still images, and there's no limit to each user's storage. Users can also upload photos from a traditional digital still camera to the site from their PC, enabling them to view the photos on their camera phone. The service also gives subscribers continuous access to photos or albums sent to them by friends.
Like other carrier's photo-sharing services, Kodak Mobile allows for sharing among handsets operating on different networks, Joaquin said. Kodak's handset-based photo sharing works like this: After a subscriber uploads a photo from a camera phone, the Kodak server sends a link to another handset or to a PC. Clicking on the link automatically takes the user to the photo.
In related announcements, Kodak announced it will begin adding Bluetooth and IR capability to its digital-imaging kiosks in the first quarter to transfer images from camera phones for printing.
Kodak and Nokia also announced a co-marketing partnership that will begin in January with activities surrounding the Nokia Sugar Bowl. A calendar of constant co-marketing activities will follow throughout 2004, a Kodak spokesman said.
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