While companies like HP have typical PC-style photo kiosks set up at their PMA stalls, Fujifilm has redefined the devices with the help of Microsoft for pushing printing sales which “in general is pretty flat.”
Fujifilm has taken Microsoft’s Surface smart-coffee table system and turned it into a new way for consumers to create and buy photobooks. The photography company is set to introduce 40 of the touch-screen units to Harvey Norman retailers around Australia this July.
The general retail model will “probably see 20 retail sites getting two each,” according to Fujifilm’s Hardware Manager, Daniel Paul.
“Online is growing stronger than retail environments, but there’s a 20 per cent year-on-year growth for photobooking,” he adds.
“Printing in general is pretty flat.”
Fujifilm hopes to push growth with their photobook products within retail stores with the functional and group-oriented technology of the Microsoft Surface ‘collaborative table’ that holds similar controls to that of a tablet.
The large touch screen is navigated by touch, swipe, drag and pinch control like an iPad, with photo categorising functions, simplistic cropping and effects tools and 360 degree orientation so that a group can use the multi-touch screen at once.
Users create their photobook from photos they upload via USB, memory stick, CD or other flash inputs, then purchase the finished product on-screen. The photobook is then delivered in around 10 days.
Fujifilm currently has access to 40 Microsoft Surface units that it is distributing to Harvey Norman stores next month, but aims to push them onto other retailers by early next year.
Microsoft is close to a new version of the Surface technology, and Fujifilm should have practically unlimited supply to meet the demand for the in-store units by the start of 2011, according to Daniel Paul.