Among the many interesting announcements made at the annual 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference held in San Jose last week was the launching of a unique printing service for consumers that brings lenticular technology to the masses with some stunning results.
Tracer Imaging, based in White Plains, New York announced the launching of their TracerPix service along with partnerships with Fujfilm and H&H Color Labs on the fulfillment end. They added that future partnerships on the retail side may be forthcoming.
Initially the lenticular prints will be available in 3-1/2-x-5, and 5×7-inch sizes priced at around $5-$6.99 per print. The company claimed a credit card size of 2 1/8 x3 1/8 will also be made available with sizes up to 12×12 also possible. In describing the effect the TracerPix lenticular prints essentially can display 3D images with up to 3 images becoming visible by tilting the print, 45 frames of video or animation and a singe still image with a zoom effect that can zero in on a particular part of the picture.
“Tracer Imaging is focused solely on marketing and manufacturing lenticular products. Since the launch in 2002 of our commercial lenticular 3D business (serving the advertising and marketing needs of major consumer brands) we have built a reputation for extending the boundaries of print media,” says Steven Spiro, CEO, Tracer. “We know lenticular inside and out and now, after years of research and development, we are proud to announce this breakthrough, and look forward to working with our customers to put the wonders of printed 3D photos and video literally into the hands of consumers.”
Spiro added that the company sees the technology in photo products beyond just prints mentioning posters, gift cards and even retail POP displays.
In explaining a bit about the technology and why they are able to achieve results that typically seen with lenticular printing, the company told us their patent-protected, high-speed robotic manufacturing process, “perfectly aligns the lens to the photograph with a precise registration.”
They added that the complex process of creating a digital image that incorporates motion or 3D imagery is called “interlacing.” The specially prepared digital image contains data from one or more images, and is placed in precise alignment under a plastic lens to create the special effect. Using high-resolution images interlaced via Tracer’s software, Tracer outputs prints and, utilizing its proprietary and highly automated manufacturing system, robotically adheres the print to a lens in perfect register. They explained that this is the company’s core technology.