By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Gretag is playing on the digital camera customer's need for speed in promoting its new kiosk in partnership with Polaroid.
Gretag's new kiosk, called the Polaroid Instant Digital Print Kiosk, pairs Polaroid's print technology with Gretag's consumer interface software and can complete an order for 30 4x6-inch prints in under two minutes, including the uploading from digital media and the credit card transaction.
The kiosk will be formally unveiled at the Photokina show in Germany this month where pricing and retail availability will be announced.
Gretag is hoping to contrast the Instant Digital's print speeds with PMA estimates that the average user spends over 15 minutes at a typical photo kiosk.
"No other kiosk comes close to this speed," boasted Gretag CEO Patrick Jung.
The Instant Digital incorporates Polaroid's Opal technology, a combination of printing technology, media and printer software, to create instant digital prints. According to Mark DeSimone, senior VP of sales for Gretag, his company has exclusive rights to Polaroid's Opal technology.
The kiosk can read image data from CompactFlash, Smart Media, Memory Stick and PCMCIA cards.
According to Gretag, the kiosk proprietor need not be concerned with chemicals, plumbing or hazardous waste disposal as with other on-site processing systems. All that is needed for installation and operation is less than 8 square feet of floor space, 15-amp electric service and a phone line.
Donor and receiver media need to be refilled after every 2,500 prints. All a retailer has to do on a regular basis, according to Gretag, is empty the waste bin and replace air filters. For situations where a service technician is required, the kiosk is equipped with a self-diagnostic Remote Services Application that automatically communicates with Gretag's service organization.
Gretag will be responsible for manufacturing the kiosk and the development of the user interface software. They will also be responsible for sales of the kiosk and media in the field, as well as service and support of the unit.
Polaroid will provide the media, printers and image processing software and consumables to Gretag for integration into the kiosk. Polaroid will also assume responsibility for consumer marketing.
According to DeSimone, the kiosk will carry Polaroid/Gretag branding but the two companies will consider private branding.
Kiosk usage has been modest to date. PMA estimates about 10 percent of U.S. households used one in 2001 vs. 8 percent in 2000; and of those users, less than 10 percent made prints from digital media.
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