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The International Imaging Industry Association's logo. Courtesy of the The International Imaging Industry Association. Imaging leaders cooperate on digital photofinishing!
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(Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 14:06 EDT)

Agfa-Gevaert, Canon, Digimarc, Eastman Kodak, FotoWire, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, LifePics, Olympus, Open Graphics and Pixology - the participants are a veritable who's who of imaging, so can they finally build a successful framework for consumers to print their digital images...?

A press release from the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) announces a new initiative from member companies to provide a framework by which consumers will be able to conveniently order prints from their digital images, be they from digital cameras, scanners or elsewhere. Dubbed the 'Common Picture eXchange Environment' (CPXe, which the I3A says is pronounced "See-Pics"), the initiative has three main parts: the creation of "a Network designed to connect the array of services offered by all types of providers", "a master service directory, similar in function to the telephone Yellow Pages", and "industry-wide standards for applications and services".

CPXe is based on existing standards such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) and Universal Description, Discovery, Integration (UDDI). The goal? Consumers will be able to upload and download images, transfer them from location to location or store them, and order prints or other services - from any participating retail location or kiosk, their own PC, cell-phone, PDA or interactive television.

The I3A will administer CPXe as a not-for-profit entity, with costs being covered by member dues from participating companies (based on their level of involvement). Phase I companies include not only Kodak, FujiFilm and HP (given lead billing in the press release), but also Agfa, Canon, Digimarc, FotoWire, LifePics, Olympus, Open Graphics and Pixology. Further companies will be able to apply to join the initiative in Phase II.

The International Imaging Industry Association's concept of the Picture eXchange Environment initiative. Courtesy of the The International Imaging Industry Association, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

The I3A's concept of how the new CPXe initiative comes together.


A separate press release from Eastman Kodak Co. notes that it plans to migrate its EasyShare directory of service providers to CPXe standards, as well as using the standards throughout its product and service range, "from online photo services, such as Ofoto and the Kodak Picture Center online retail service to Kodak PictureMaker kiosks, photofinishing equipment, software and networks".

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire

Original Source Press Release:

Leading I3A Imaging Companies Develop Industry Initiative To Expand Digital Photofinishing Services for Consumers

Eastman Kodak Company, Fujifilm and HP Give Consumers More Ways To Print Digital Images and Create New Business Opportunities for Retailers

HARRISON, N.Y.--June 17, 2002-- The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) today announced a major initiative to provide increased photofinishing choices for consumers to get photographic quality prints from digital images. The initiative, known as the Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe), is designed to make printing digital images as convenient as using film.

With a broad and rapidly expanding base of support, CPXe will allow photofinishing service providers to connect to consumers via the Web and to each other in ways that are currently not possible. CPXe is led by top imaging companies within the I3A, including Eastman Kodak Company, Fujifilm and Hewlett-Packard.

Based on a Web Services framework, CPXe will enable the transmission and printing of digital images between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers - regardless of the type of digital camera, PC or operating system they use. CPXe will allow consumers to upload, download and order prints of digital pictures at any retail location with any type of photofinishing equipment used by the retailer.

The CPXe network architecture and a directory of services will be managed and supported by I3A. The directory, which is open to any company to join, will provide a robust listing of service providers. Using this directory, consumers will be able to quickly locate compatible services using familiar search criteria, such as a zip code or type of service. For example, a consumer could request a list of vendors that offer in-store pick up, one hour service and are located in the consumers' area.

CPXe uses existing Web Services standards such as Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML, which makes it easy and less costly for camera manufacturers to build connections to CPXe compliant service providers. CPXe is an example of Web services providing real benefits to consumers.

"According to our research, less than 10 percent of digital camera owners print through service providers," said Ron Glaz, program manager, digital imaging at IDC. "Consumers today are used to a behavior pattern with photofinishing that is hard to break because the current process with film is convenient and simple. In order for mass-market adoption of digital photography to occur, the industry needs a digital photofinishing infrastructure similar to what exists today for film. With CPXe, the I3A and the industry have a strong vision for bridging the two worlds and providing an order system similar to today's while allowing the consumer to take advantage of what digital imaging provides."

"CPXe will link digital camera owners to the traditional photofinishers and minilabs they are familiar with for printing pictures. In addition, CPXe creates new revenue streams for retailers, photofinishers and other companies involved in digital output," said Lisa Walker, executive director of I3A.

"Kodak is striving to expand the choices consumers have in digital photofinishing services at retailers," said Phil Gerskovich, chief operating officer, Digital and Applied Imaging business unit, Eastman Kodak Company. "The CPXe initiative will create an entirely new and convenient option for digital camera owners - Print From Home - enabling consumers to send print orders from their home PCs to their favorite local retailer. The convergence of image and information technology continue to create new business opportunities for the imaging and technology industries, and CPXe will help us capitalize on those opportunities."

"The CPXe initiative will create an entirely new and convenient option for digital camera owners to send print orders to their favorite local retailer from their home PCs," said Yukihiro Shibakawa, divisional manager, DI Software Development Division, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. "Fujifilm strongly believes in providing a choice of output options for all camera owners."

"HP's goal in supporting CPXe is to promote industry standards that provide consumers with a rich imaging experience anytime, anywhere," Mary Peery, senior vice president, HP Digital Imaging and Publishing global business unit. "In supporting this innovative CPXe standard, HP is pushing to create greater choice, control and convenience for consumers as they engage in the digital conversation."

The CPXe standards are slated to be completed by the end of 2002.

Other participants include:

  • Agfa-Gevaert N.V.
  • Canon U.S.A., Inc.
  • Digimarc
  • FotoWire, Inc.
  • LifePics, Inc.
  • Olympus America Inc.
  • Open Graphics, Inc.
  • Pixology Ltd.
Companies interested in joining the CPXe Initiative should contact Lisa Walker at 949-481-7645 or lisaw@i3a.org.

About CPXe

CPXe is an International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) Initiative group of companies that are working together to provide more opportunities for consumers to print their digital images. Technology companies, software makers, camera manufacturers, imaging companies, and online photo services providers - are working within I3A to develop a set of open standards that will enable digital camera users to make prints of their images from anywhere in the world. A core group of companies have begun work on the open standards and network which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2002. For more information about CPXe, visit www.i3a.org

About the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A)

I3A is the leading global imaging industry association, driving growth of and setting standards for the photographic and information imaging markets. As the industry focal point, I3A offers a framework and environment where members can quickly find resources to solve critical issues and develop market solutions. Members of I3A work together to find common ground for advancing the industry and to enable better products and services for their customers. I3A is the product of the merger of the Digital Imaging Group (DIG) and the Photographic and Imaging Manufacturers Association (PIMA). Information about I3A can be found on the World Wide Web at www.i3a.org.

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