By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TWICE: Now that they are millions and millions of cameras in consumers' hands, storing images, organizing them and archiving them seems to be starting to dominate the discussion. Has the center of gravity shifted in the imaging market, away from capture?
Cordova: I think image storage and display and sharing will certainly become a bigger part of the equation as the market evolves. But it's important to remember that you can't store, manipulate, print or share images unless you capture them first. So while the image management segment will continue to grow, it won't do so at the expense of the capturing devices.
Maciag: I agree with Steve. I think we agree that over the next two or three years, storage will be a significant problem as people continue to take images on top of the ones they already have and higher resolutions eat up more storage space. I think it's a great opportunity for a lot of retailers because there will be a rush to print, I feel, in the future.
Rubin: I think it's a virtuous circle. The more consumers capture, the better results they get with that capture, the more they want to share — and drives it all over again. And the challenges is really taking the friction out of that process: helping consumers with composition and cropping so that they get better results and don't have to spend so much time editing.
TWICE: How about organizing images?
Magee: We've demonstrated a facial search. That's a missing link. We hope all of our cameras are timed and date stamped accurately. We're proud about how many pictures we've taken, but when it comes time to print them, we've got to find those pictures. Where is that content? And as we as an industry get better at organizing images, I think the next effort in our marketing will be to demonstrate how easy it is and how easy it is to print.
Pepple: At Photokina we demonstrated something very similar that would suggest a slideshow based on photo content. The goal with our face-detection technology is to not only detect the face, but tell who that face is so that camera technology could someday recognize somebody before the picture is taken and set the focus and exposure to that. And in that way, that photograph is in a sense tagged.
TWICE: How about GPS?
Pepple: We think there's potential for that. We don't have it right now, but we think there's potential.
Cordova: There's definitely a potential for GPS. But I think the consumers aren't going to buy into it until it's easy for them to deal with it built into the camera.
Lee: We have GPS technology in our high end d-SLR, and right now it's really been used more for government and commercial applications. But obviously, there is room here. I agree with everybody's opinion here that you can't have the management without the capture. But I think as we see the market peak, you'll see a big emphasis shift to that management.
Rubin: Search and retrieval are huge issues. It sounds like there are some promising automatic tagging technologies, which is the way it has to be because you can't ask consumers to manually enter information about a photo. It's just not going to happen.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.