By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
While not quite as ubiquitous as the money belching ATM, photo kiosk makers continue to court alternative channels as the Photo Marketing Association reports that kiosk use is one the rise.
Vienna, Va.-based Lucidiom announced that its Automated Photo Machine (APM) would hit the high seas, thanks to a deal with Princess Cruises. The cruise line will install Lucidiom's Automated Photo Machine (APM) 2000 on fifteen of its ships this December and two more in April. The vessels travel to the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands and each will offer three APMs privately branded for Princess Cruises.
The APMs will be loaded with customized templates to make cruise-specific themed prints and link to behind-the-counter dye sublimation printers.
Lucidiom's APM 2000 features a touch-screen LCD, software for editing photos (including cropping, red eye fix and color adjustments) and the ability to order 4-inch by 6-inch prints, enlargements, package prints, indexes and photo CDs. It sells for $5,250 without a printer. A printer and scanner bundle will sell for $8,500.
While Lucidiom sells kiosks on an OEM basis, this is its first public deal with a cruise line, a company spokesperson said.
Meanwhile Mitsubishi unveiled two new models that it's gearing toward the more solid ground of photo specialty retailers.
The DPS Kiosk 7000 and DPS Click 5000 will both feature frames and borders courtesy of photo template creator Aperion. The units will be preloaded with 25 Aperion template families with a choice of three sizes within each. The templates include holiday, birth announcements, birthday cards and scrapbook-related themes.
The DPS Kiosk 7000 features a 17-inch SXGA touch screen, built-in photo editing and photo enhancement features, frames and borders. The unit can sit on a counter or on an optional base, which can also house the optional dye-sublimation printers.
The Kiosk 7000 can connect to the CP-9550DW-U for 4-inch by 6-inch, 5 by 7-inch and 6 by 9-inch prints, and the CP-3020DAU for 8 by 10-inch and 8 by 12-inch prints.
The Click 5000 also offers a 17-inch SXGA-resolution touch screen LCD, photo editing and enhancement including color balance, brightness, contrast and saturation controls. The Click can be networked to a minilab or Kiosk 7000. It can also connect to the CP-9550DW-U and CP-3020D AU printers.
Pricing on the kiosks will vary by configuration choice. The Click 50000 will range from $3,195 to $5,975 depending on printer type and number of printers purchased. The unit can support up to two printers. The Kiosk 7000 will range from $3,595 to $6,975.
According to PMA, kiosk print volume grew 30 percent through July of this year versus the same period last year. The growth is slower than rival methods — online racked up a 168 percent volume gain, while retail minilabs (excluding kiosks) scored 83 percent and home printing grew 49 percent.
The retail channel as a whole accounted for 44.3 percent of all digital prints made in the past twelve months through July 2006, versus 44.2 percent from the home. Overall, the volume of prints made at retail is growing, up from 40 percent in the 12 months ending July 2005.
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