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TWICE: Another issue tied to printing is long-term storage of digital images. Do you feel that the industry has meaningfully addressed this issue and that consumers can have confidence that their digital photos are going to last for their grandkids?
Lee: I don't. At this point in time, I'm afraid too many consumers don't take it seriously yet. I think it's really the industry's responsibility. I know at Nikon we're working very hard to inform the consumer about the safest way to store their images. I think it's something that is a great opportunity, and I think, as the market starts to peak, you'll see a lot of the manufacturers shifting their activities towards archiving and sharing solutions if you will. I think that we haven't even started to see some of the capabilities and possibilities that are out there.
Rubin: I agree. I think it's a major issue because it's traditionally been tied to PC backup, which consumers know they should do and don't. Ideally, we want to get to a place where you come home after a day of shooting pictures and it all gets sucked into some home storage solution or preferably even off site somewhere.
Pepple: We see the print as a form of archiving that is overlooked by many consumers. Certainly, the backup of the file itself is also important. So we provide really what we think of as two methods. We provide the print and we provide the electronic formats as a way of backup.
Magee: I would predict that this will be a topic for this roundtable as long as we talk about the megapixel war. It's bad. Consumers are not aware of it. The problem is about to start to hit them in the eyes. Kodak is really trying to address that on several fronts. The EasyShare software has been organizing pictures right from the start. The Gallery has been offering a reservoir of pictures for consumers with a premier service that will guarantee those pictures forever.
Rubin: I think a related question is even if you can provide access to those photos after a generation, how do you communicate what they were and who the people were and any relevant information about them? There's a lot that can be done in terms of bringing the storytelling into the photo.
TWICE: Does retail have a role to play in this issue specifically?
Lee: Certainly retailers will have a place in it. In fact, some of them are already starting to offer those services. I think Ritz Camera already offers an archiving service. It's a question of how broad it becomes.
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.