Kodak is hotly pursuing the mass consumer market, having redeveloped its digital imaging software to address the "three roadblocks" separating the early adoption of digital cameras from mainstream market penetration.
Consumer frustration with the transferral process of camera-to-PC-to-printer, along with short battery lives, are hindering the uptake of digital imaging, according to Kodak. The third obstacle to mass adoption is allowing consumers to achieve high print quality from their home inkjets via the digital camera, the imaging specialist said.
Kodak has rewritten its software from the ground up to automate many of the transferral functions, or what it calls "share" functions, of its digital range. Using a share button on the camera, the user can "tag" a picture for print or e-mail; when the camera is placed in the new EasyShare docking station the software on the desktop carries out these orders with only one command being issued by the user.
The EasyShare Camera Dock II, which will be available in July/August, works with all the major printer brands, such as HP, Canon and Epson, and has the ability to take over the printer's perimeter settings to optimise print quality and colour of digital photos. Kodak has also released photography paper suitable for inkjet printers.
The manufacturer has dropped CompactFlash cards in favour of SD/MMC (secure digital/multimedia card), tipping the latter as the more compatible medium with greater longevity. "The SD option allows a smaller build but it is also being used by other consumer electronics manufacturers, such as PDAs, which will make it more compatible," said Pierre Schaeffer, vice president of Kodak's digital and applied imaging division.
Kodak's attempt to push digital photography into the mainstream as swiftly as possible has seen it progressively expand its dealer channel over the last seven years. As well as forging a stronger presence in Harvey Norman's PC and home entertainment divisions and Coles Myer stores, the manufacturer has been encouraging its dedicated imaging houses to branch out into IT.