Mobile Photo Connect Conference Puts Mobile Imaging in Perspective

Mobile Photo Connect Conference Puts Mobile Imaging in Perspective


I was fortunate to attend the Mobile Photo Connect conference held at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco on October 15, as it opened my eyes to the mobile photography world.

The conference was organized by Hans Hartman, president of Suite 48 Analytics, and Alexis Gerard, founder of Future Image Inc. and the 6Sight conferences. The program was developed to delve into the issues that are facing the imaging industry when it comes to mobile photography. It also showcased the many photo applications that are being offered to enhance mobile images.

Mobile Photo Connect was designed around a series of panels and “show and tells.” The panels discussed such subjects as “The World of Mobile Photography in 2013 and Beyond”; “The Connected Camera Perspective”; “Weeding through the API Jungle”; a chat with photography visionary Eran Steinberg and Hans Peter Brøndmo, head of New Product Innovation at Nokia; and, finally, the age-old question of “How to Make Money with Photo Apps.” Panelists were offered an open forum to discuss these issues, which were mostly intended for app developers aiming to build their businesses.

Most of the issues discussed centered around the pain points facing the imaging industry today, from consumer confusion as to which picture-taking device to use when capturing memories (mobile phone, point and shoot, DSLR) to storage issues.

As their revenue model, many of the app developers talked about increasing their users and downloads to build a community—and then up-selling them once they had become users. Others are just looking to build a community and be bought out. There didn’t seem to be one real answer.

Many of the apps demonstrated used photo correction as their hook. Some of my personal favorites include Aviary (a simple photo-correction tool), Layrs (a special effects app), Krome (which allows you to send your image to have it corrected via Photoshop for a small fee) and BeFunky (another photo-enhancement tool). All in all, 26 developers had four minutes each to demonstrate their app to the crowd.

The event concluded with a presentation by Darren Johnson, chief growth officer of the new Kodak Alaris company, who used the conference to introduce the company as well as its first product, the Kodak Photo Service. The goal of the service is to leverage Kodak Alaris’s worldwide photo kiosk network with the many new independent mobile applications available to mobile imagers.

Kudos to Hans and Alexis for a well-run conference—and an opportunity to explore the many facets of the mobile imaging space.