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Kodak Acquires Applied SF Assets

5/12/2003 01:27:00 PM Eastern

Rochester, N.Y. - Kodak announced today that it reached a definitive agreement to acquire Applied Science Fiction's proprietary dry film processing technology, image correcting software and other key assets.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Austin, Texas-based Applied Science Fiction is the creator of the image correction software Digital ICE and Digital ICE3, as well as the digital dry film processing system known as Digital PIC, which the company recently incorporated in a retail print kiosk that it was testing in New York and Boston. The status of these retail tests after the acquisition are not known, but Kodak did announce in a statement that it planned on incorporating Applied Science Fiction's dry processing and image correction technology in a new generation of its own Picture Maker kiosks.

Digital PIC rapidly develops standard color negative film without chemical mixing or plumbing. The process simultaneously renders a digital image file that can be used to print photographs and write images on a CD. Digital ICE software is found on higher-end film scanners.

'Kodak is pleased to acquire Applied Science Fiction's assets, especially its intellectual property portfolio including the innovative Digital PIC technology, and combine it with Kodak's own world-class expertise in kiosks, said Dan Palumbo, president, consumer imaging products and services, Kodak.

'As a result [of the acquisition], Kodak's will be the first and only kiosks capable of taking any input, including film, and giving the consumer exactly the prints they want, in minutes, not hours or days,' Palumbo said.

According to a company statement, Kodak sees a generation of its Picture Maker kiosks that function much like automatic picture machines, available everywhere and providing processing and printing for either film or digital camera users. Kodak believes these kiosks will appeal both to existing photo retailers who want to give consumers greater access to their pictures as well as to the expanding channels for picture-taking activities.

Kodak will maintain operations in Austin, Texas, but will integrate Applied Science Fiction's technologies and key personnel into its Consumer Imaging business. Specific details about product plans are currently under development and will be disclosed at a later date.

Closing of the transaction is subject to customary reviews and approvals.