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Home >> Online Services Look to Drive Retail Printing
Long considered the dark horse in the competition for the digital print dollar, online services are enjoying more investment as manufacturers and standalone services forge closer ties to brick-and-mortar retail outlets. Several leading online photo sites announced retail printing options at PMA, while existing players augmented their offerings.
Kodak announced its Ofoto/Picture Gallery service will offer a retail pickup option, initially through 4,000 CVS locations in the spring. It is the first time Ofoto is offering in-store pickup.
According to Kodak, in-store pickup service will “likely be extended to additional retailers later this year.”
Panasonicannounced that it would offer an online photo printing and storage site run by Shutterfly. The Panasonic Photo Center will launch in March, offering a variety of Shutterfly’s products.
OurPicturesintroduced an application for printing from camera phones. Called OurPictures Mobile, the new service lets users send pictures taken with their camera phones to the OurPictures software on their PC. The new program will be offered in the OurPictures Deluxe Edition.
According to the company, the mobile service “works with any camera phone and wireless service provider, however the ability to automatically share pictures with the desktop is currently available on nine Symbian OS camera phones.” Those include eight models from Nokia and the Siemens SX1 which operate in the United States on AT&T/Cingular and T-Mobile networks.
Consumers without those phones can sign up for the service through the OurPictures Deluxe desktop application where a code is then sent to the camera phone linking it with the computer.
OurPictures also announced that it is providing software for Ritz Camera Centers. Called the RitzPix E-Z Print & Share, it lets customers upload photos from their desktop to a local Ritz to have prints made, in some locations with a one-hour turnaround time. Ritz customers will also have free access to OurPictures Mobile.
Photochannel Networkslaunched its PhotoChannel Wi-Fi Mobile Printing solution, which allows retailers to receive digital photo orders from Wi-Fi-enabled devices in public hot spots. Using proximity-sensing technology and a third-party hot spot, consumers can automatically identify and transmit photos to the closest retailer in the PhotoChannel Network. Those images are then printed in-store. PhotoChannel is rolling the technology out to its partner retailers immediately.
Silverwire overhauled its desktop-to-store retail service model with new upload tools and print options. The new upload tool will offer image thumbnail viewing, cropping, coupon vouchers, prepaid vouchers, user definable banners and an upgrade path to greeting cards.
Sonyannounced that its ImageStation Web site will offer in-store printing and pick-up at CVS and Ritz Camera Centers.
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