|FUJIFILM PHOTO TECHNOLOGY LINKS WITH IBM SYSTEMS TO TRANSFORM DIGITAL CAMERA DEVELOPING|
Rollout of Kiosks and Digital Lab Systems in Thousands of Retail Stores Signals Watershed Moment in Digital Photography
Elmsford and Armonk, NY, June 14, 2002 -- Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. and IBM announced today that they are completing the first round of installations of powerful digital photofinishing systems in thousands of retail stores nationwide. The systems rely on IBM eServer technology, IBM personal computers and IBM Global Services' expertise to offer consumers a convenient, affordable and quick way to produce photographic quality digital prints from their digital cameras.
The rollout of the new machines coincides with an upsurge in digital camera ownership in the United States -- expected to rise from 11 percent of U.S. households in August 2001 to 25 percent by the end of 2002, according to a Fujifilm market research study1.
Fujifilm and IBM are installing two types of photofinishing equipment into retail stores: Fujifilm's Frontier Digital Lab System, a powerful, full-service digital minilab that offers a complete range of photographic, digital and online services; and the Aladdin Digital Photo Center, an easy-to-use, self-service imaging kiosk.
Powerful Photofinishing Digital Lab System
The Fujifilm Frontier Digital Lab System is a photofinishing solution that enables consumers to get photographic quality prints made from their digital images with the same ease, convenience and low cost that is associated with traditional in-store one-hour photo film processing. The Frontier Digital Lab System also allows retailers to realize the profit potential of digital camera developing.
"By using the Fujifilm Frontier Digital Lab System in tandem with the IBM eServer, retailers will be able to take advantage of the virtually unlimited opportunities the new digital world presents for future growth and profitability," said Joe Welch, director of marketing, Retail Digital Systems, Commercial Imaging Division, Fuji Photo Film USA, Inc. "With IBM's support and an integrated solution, we can offer consumers the chance to get stellar quality prints of their digital images at their trusted local retailer, just as they've done in the past with film."
"Our relationship with Fujifilm is just another example of IBM's commitment to delivering e-business solutions that address the unique needs of businesses in a wide range of industries," said James Gargan, vice president, eServer xSeries. "Fujifilm's photographic expertise is leveraged with IBM's server technology to create a customer focused solution. Photo retailers can rely on both IBM's and Fujifilm's reputation for quality and reliability when investing in the Frontier Digital Lab Systems. And consumers will now enjoy the benefits of IBM technology when they get photographic quality prints of their digital images made on the Frontier."
Each Frontier uses an IBM eServer x220 running Microsoft® Windows® 2000 that enables the digital lab system to offer a full range of photographic, digital and online services. IBM Global Services will provide the hardware, engineering and integration of the components that allow the Frontier to be connected to a retailer's computer network. With the IBM eServer x220, the Frontier Digital Lab System can accept multiple input sources (such as film, prints, slides, negatives or digital media including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, CDs, Zip disks and the IBM Microdrive), output pictures as prints or save them to Fujicolor CDs, floppy disks and Zip disks. Frontier Digital Lab Systems can even upload images to Web sites like Fujifilm.net.
Fujifilm has installed many thousands of Frontier Digital Lab Systems in stores and labs nationwide. Such blue chip retailers as Costco, Eckerd Drugs, Longs Drugs, Meijers, Ritz Camera, Walgreens and Wal-Mart; and such online stores as Shutterfly and Ritz.com have already selected the innovative systems.
Fujifilm to Use IBM NetVista PCs for Aladdin Digital Photo Center, A Self-Service Digital Camera Developing Option
IBM has provided equipment design, kiosk engineering and manufacturing rollout, help desk and maintenance support for Fujifilm's Aladdin Digital Photo Center self-service imaging kiosk. Fujifilm worked with IBM Global Services to design and integrate an in-store network of kiosks powered by thousands of IBM NetVista M41 desktop personal computers. Fujifilm selected the IBM NetVista desktop PC for reliability, compatibility and performance within the overall kiosk solution. The kiosk, which will be deployed this month, allows retailers to offer consumers a more hands-on digital camera developing experience.
Serving as the consumer order terminal for the retailer-installed Fujifilm Frontier Digital Lab System, Pictrography 3500/4000II printers or Printpix Digital Color 1000 and 600 printers, the Aladdin Digital Photo Center empowers consumers to order high-quality photographic prints directly from various forms of digital media, including SmartMedia, CompactFlash, CDs, Zip disks and the IBM Microdrive (via a PC Card slot). Through the Aladdin Digital Photo Center, picture-takers can also customize print orders and edit pictures.
Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. is the U.S. marketing subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. of Tokyo (FUJIY), a leading global manufacturer in three business segments, including Imaging Solutions, Information Solutions and Document Solutions. Recognized for its technological innovation and high quality, Fujifilm offers a complete portfolio of imaging, information and document products, services and e-solutions to retailers, consumers, professionals and business customers.
The complete Fujifilm product portfolio in the U.S.A. includes: professional and consumer film and cameras; digital imaging products, including cameras and printers for commercial and consumer use; digital minilabs and kiosks; photographic paper and photofinishing supplies; professional motion picture film; high-capacity floppy disks, CDs and DVDs, tape cartridges and other data storage media; videotape and audiocassettes; professional and consumer optical discs; microfilm and other micrographic products; and graphic arts film, conventional and digital printing plates, analog and digital color proofing systems, drum and flatbed scanners, imagesetters and computer-to-plate systems. Fujicolor Processing, Inc., a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., provides wholesale photofinishing through a network of laboratories across the country. Fujifilm e-Systems is a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., that develops workflow solutions to support the company's photofinishing labs and consumer photographic businesses, including online imaging services such as Fujifilm.net.
For more information on Fujifilm products, consumers can call 800-800-FUJI or access the Fujifilm USA Web site at http://www.fujifilm.com/.
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com.
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1 InfoTrends Research Group, Inc., "Fujifilm USA Digital Camera Retail Printing Study," August 6, 2001.
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