By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Framingham, Mass.— Global shipments of consumer digital still cameras reached 27.9 million units in 2002, a whopping 74 percent rate of growth, according to market research firm IDC's latest report. According to IDC, close to one out of every three PC households around the world owns a digital camera. The global market share leaders were Sony, Olympus and Canon. The company noted that, as was the case in 2001, 2-megapixel cameras were the strongest segment, while 3- and 4-megapixel cameras gained ground quickly. "While the current market focuses on the success of digital cameras, the future lies in viewing, sharing and printing infrastructure plays that will guarantee long-term success; only those vendors who have these solutions will remain on top in the consumer imaging market," IDC concluded.
Santa Ana, Calif.— Data storage manufacturer I/O Magic took aim at the removable flash memory market with its Digital Photo Library, a 20GB storage device with a six-in-one memory card reader that it is being positioned as an alternative to buying additional memory cards. The 2-pound unit is a portable, standalone device that supports Compact Flash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, SD/MMC and IBM MicroDrive. It has a suggested retail price of $229.99. The Digital Photo Library can store up to 15,000 pictures (at 1.3-megapixels per picture) and connects to a computer via USB for picture transfers. It sports a rechargeable battery than lasts for more than two hours.
New York — Aiming to drive prints back to its network of dealers, the Photographic Research Organization, Inc. (PRO), a cooperative owned by independent specialty retailers, announced that is offering a customized version of Trevoli's Photo Finale digital photography software application free to consumers who purchase a digital camera. The software, which normally retails for $39.95, has been customized for PRO retailers with a print application that can send digital image files to PRO retail locations for printing (the consumer can choose to have the prints mailed back to them, or to pick them up in store). Aside from making prints, Photo Finale lets users organize, edit, create special effects, create photo Web sites, and e-mail photos.
Eden Prairie, Minn.— Digital imaging software company Jasc, announced the release of its latest product, Paint Shop Pro 8, last week. The software combines automatic and precision photo editing and graphic design tools with an integrated learning system. Paint Shop Pro 8 employs Automated Productivity Scripts and Dynamic Personalization. The latter allows a user to move commonly used functions to the forefront, creating unique menus, toolbars, keyboard shortcuts and workspaces. Users can also create specific work environments based on the tasks they want to accomplish. The Automated Productivity Scripts let users record, edit, and replay commonly used processes, brush strokes, and photo finishing techniques to enhance single photos or batches of photos automatically, to streamline workflow. Paint Shop Pro 8 also features a precision Background Eraser. This feature detects and erases pixels along the strongest edge of an image while retaining all of the fine detail, such as hair, and preserving it from the original photo for a more realistic reuse of the extracted image. Jasc Paint Shop Pro is available now at a suggested list price of $109.
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.