Photo Kiosk Popularity Increasing
The New York Times is carrying an article (also available at CNET) talking about the current (and expected) demand on photo kiosks in retail stores. When we talked with Kodak at CTIA, they also confirmed this trend. According to the article, Kodak has 15,000 kiosks and will be shipping 5,000 - 10,000 more this year. Additionally, Kodak mentioned that a goal with their kiosks is to be able to interact with the EasyShare Gallery (Ofoto). A user could either print from their online gallery or transfer files from removable media to the kiosk and opt to save the images to an online gallery.
Manufacturers are also planning to accomodate the camera phone market by allowing kiosks users to transfer their files from phone to kiosk by Bluetooth or infrared.
Digital photo printing is a very high margin service, far more profitable than the cameras themselves, so manufacturers are scrambling to get a piece of the action. Kodak and Fuji are the largest manufacturers and will probably remain so, but it will be a matter of who's kiosks are best for customers and retailers. Olympus offers retailers a pre-paid card and Fuji can attach a credit card reader to their machines.
Some more snippets from the article:
Cheap DIY LCD Photo Frame
A posting on MAKE (http://www.makezine.com, a site that "brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life") shows a project in progress to create an LCD photo frame out of an $11 Mattel JuiceBox from WalMart. The creator says: "I'm working on an LCD frame hacked out of a Mattel JuiceBox ($11 at Wal-mart). The 'Box runs uclinux and accepts MMC cards." There are some mixed reports on whether the $11 price can be found everywhere.
For the full posting, see http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/03/the_11_lcd_phot.html