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Ritz Launches One-Time-Use Digital Camera

Hoping to ride the successful coattails of one-time-use (OTU) film cameras, the Ritz camera chain is rolling out one of the industry’s first OTU digital cameras.

For $10.99, Ritz will offer an OTU digital camera, 25 4-by-6-inch prints and a CD with the images and software.

The camera, manufactured by San Francisco-based Pure Digital Technologies, will carry Ritz’s Dakota Digital brand.

The OTU digital model will be nearly identical to its film counterpart. Consumers who purchase the camera can take up to 25 pictures, which are stored on the camera’s internal memory. They have the option to delete only the last picture they took since the camera doesn’t feature a color LCD.

The camera is then returned to Ritz where the prints will be produced along with a photo CD that holds the images and a software program that will let consumers e-mail photos, as well as create slideshows and photo greeting cards.

Ritz is rolling out the single-use digital camera to approximately 100 stores in 14 cities including Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas.

The Pure Digital platform allows retailers to offer low-cost single-use digital cameras because the retailer’s server, provided by Pure Digital, does all the “heavy lifting,” said Simon Fleming-Wood, marketing VP, Pure Digital. The digital camera captures just raw image data (while Fleming-Wood declined to give a resolution, he indicated that the company “targets 3-megapixel quality in a 4-by-6-inch print). When the retailer gets the camera returned to them, they connect it to Pure Digital’s server, which then processes the images and sends them to a digital printer.

Pure Digital’s single-use model has already been tested by Walgreens, under the chain’s Studio 35 brand.