Walking the aisles of the 2012 International CES, whether at the Venetian checking out PMA@CES or poking around the LVCC for digital imaging fare, your eyes and ears were assaulted by the large booths manned by the likes of Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung. Music blaring, models modeling and crowds, well, crowding. While those exhibits traditionally bring us fascinating technology, it’s never a bad idea to walk a bit deeper inside the show, to the outer reaches, where you’ll find some wonderfully innovative products and services, and the focus is squarely on profit potential for your business. Here’s a brief sampling.
Digital 1 to 1 Video Tutorials for Retailers. The creators of an online photography teaching service dubbed Digital 1 to 1 introduced “the ultimate photo learning app for the iPhone and iPad.” They have made their entire library of how-to photography videos available as a downloadable app for Apple devices. These innovative video pods, as they call them, help your customers take better photographs. The library is comprised of easy-to-follow video clips (4–6 minutes) that tackle the basics. “Digital 1 to 1 can be a great profit tool for your business, and the ideal product and partner to increase your bottom line,” said partners Santino Zafarana and Ken Pivak. To download the app ($4.99), visit digital1to1.com and select the iPhone App button.
PhotoTidings Templates. This boutique graphic design studio offers one of the largest digital photo template collections in the industry. With a robust in-house design team, PhotoTidings produces hundreds of cool, unique photo designs for cards, calendars, books, posters, banners and much more every year.
“Brick-and-mortar photo retailers and online photo sites choose PhotoTidings templates to inspire customers to print and share their photos with style and flair,” explained sales manager Maria Kuzman. You’ll find lots of clever, quality ideas that will do just that at phototidings.com.
LO 3D Complete 3D Imaging System. Hong Kong-based LO 3D (Fototec) demoed their “complete HD digital 3D photographic system” that includes a three-lens 3D consumer camera, six-lens 3D pro camera, a 3D LCD photo frame, a 3D printer, 3D print material and 3D photofinishing service. The unveiling of the technology, developed by Allen Lo—inventor of the Nimslo 3D camera in 1980—marks a nine-year collaboration with several partners who pioneered 3D photo-imaging (Nimslo 3D film cameras, Kodak and Konica 3D single-use film cameras). The 3D photo that the printer produces is printed on an HD optical 3D paper, utilizing an optical image compression and interlace technique. The chemical penetrates through the TiO2 reflective layer coated on the backside of the emulsion to develop the image. The 3D photo is then ready for viewing without 3D glasses, similar to 2D photofinishing. fototec.com
Braggables Photo Purses. There are plenty of services available to put your customers’ photos on mugs, blankets, books and even cakes—but purses? Braggables, a New Jersey company, offers several unique photo-themed accessories that are all about allowing consumers to take their memories with them, wherever they go, and then, well, brag about them. You’ll find several high-quality totes, handbags and wallet/smartphone cases at their website. All of the products offer one or more framed photo windows for showcasing varying numbers of images of your customers’ loved ones. braggables.com
DxO FilmPack Software. DxO Labs used PMA@CES to unveil its DxO FilmPack v3.1 software that brings to digital “all the emotional impact of silver halide photography.” This silver halide simulation software adds 25 creative renderings and a dramatically improved user interface. FilmPack actually applies the characteristic tint, grain and rendering of a traditional silver halide film type to images, regardless of the source. It also has a resizable filmstrip-style preview system that lets users visualize renderings before applying them. DxO claims they “have given the utmost consideration to the aesthetic qualities and creative dimensions for each rendering in this program.” We concur. dxo.com
ChromaLuxe. Sounds a bit strange at first, but once you see an image printed on aluminum it’s pretty cool and quite stunning, and ChromaLuxe has added a neat wrinkle to the equation. Their ChromaLuxe Connections are a series of aluminum photo panels grouped together to create a unique finished image for home or office wall. The panels are available in various sizes and can be arranged in several configurations using multiple photos, or a single image across the group of panels to form a unified piece of wall art. chromaluxe.com
YesVideo Adds Blu-ray. For this one you had to take a few steps off the show floor, as the video-scanning service YesVideo took a hospitality suite at The Venetian Palazzo to demo their latest services. The company added a new array of customizable themes to its library of online video “enhancers,” giving consumers the ability to now personalize their memories when transferring VHS, film reels, slides, SD cards or flash memory onto a DVD.
The idea is to offer customers numerous, easy ways to customize DVDs they can create with various themes that mirror their memories. The company added more than 20 options that allow folks to personalize their videos with distinctive background themes to highlight special occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas, Bar Mitzvahs, sports and graduations. These new themes can be combined with a selection of musical backgrounds to further personalize transferred videotape, film, slides and prints. YesVideo has also added high-definition video transfer to Blu-ray discs as part of their service offerings. The Blu-ray disc can hold 90 minutes of footage and includes chapter pictures printed on the case—very slick little service. yesvideo.com
Sanho’s CloudFTP Adapter: A Pocketable Cloud. We were completely intrigued by Fremont, California-based Sanho Corporation’s new CloudFTP, a pocket-size adapter intended to turn any USB storage device into a wireless file server. The gadget is aimed at letting users share multimedia files through Wi-Fi across PCs, tablets and smartphones in their home. We’ll surely be taking a closer look at this later this year in Photo Reporter, but its implications within the imaging space make it worth check out their website. hypershop.com