By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TWICE:Do you see it as a critical step to separate the camera from the PC, in order to make the products more like a camera that the soccer mom audience is used to? Do you risk losing the value?
Arnette: I don't know how you're going to store thousands upon thousands of digital images without some type of PC technology.
Carr: I think we are in a world where we won't need a PC anymore, between wireless and the Internet, you will have your PC in the sky. I can't talk about any product on the horizon, this is just blue-sky, but what I felt for many years is when you press that shutter button your pictures will be transmitted to some storage safe somewhere. Then, no matter where you are, you're going to be able to pull that image down to, say, your refrigerator. You're going to be able to pull it down to your TV. You're going to be able to pull it down to your printer and print it. That's what it's all about. And we've got the technology today, it's just a matter of connecting them.
Grossman: You're talking about a very small percentage of the market that's going to accept that in three or four years. I'm not sure if there's a reason to concentrate on untethering digital cameras from the PC. That's not to say there's no opportunity to do direct printing and I think that's a great solution. But storage is an issue, certainly enhancing the picture is an issue. You can upload your digital image to your PC and remove the red eye, you can do five hundred things that will make the picture more pleasing to you and I think that's also part of the fun of owning a digital camera.
Young: There's still over 60 percent household penetration of PCs. It's not like we're addressing a small segment of the audience. And yet it's only 20 percent household penetration in digital cameras. So you have to assume that the large majority of people who buy [digital cameras] over the next couple of years are going to be PC owners and PC users.
Sienkiewicz: We still see tremendous continued growth in image editing software which suggests to me that people like to do things with pictures. So I think for a very, very long time, we will have people tinkering and correcting mistakes on the PC.
Schaffer: Part of the reason for buying a digital camera is for the options it gives consumers. I don't think it's as simple as, "I'm going to e-mail images so I'm not going to print them," or, "I'm going to print at home, so I'm not going to print them at retail." Or, "I have the ability to connect directly to a printer, I don't have to be connected to a PC. So I won't use a PC." Instead, it's: "I'm going to do all of that."
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.