PRESS RELEASE: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Eastman Kodak Company, and Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. Form Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) Group
Defines Picture and Video Parameters to Optimize Future Consumer Use; Input Sought on Version 1.0 Specification
September 27 — Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Eastman Kodak Company, and Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. today announced an agreement to jointly develop a set of open standards for the consumer imaging and electronics industries, aimed at the preservation of digital photos and motion images on CDs, DVDs or other media.
As information storage technologies advance, the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) group’s intention is to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices, preserving the satisfying ‘photo experience’ that consumers have enjoyed for decades.
The group intends that the new standard will:
- Define the requirements of digital media authoring/archival, playback, and print enablement for a new generation of products and services;
- Provide interoperability for pictures, motion images, audio and related content among such future systems;
- Utilize and unify multiple existing standards, to better meet the consumer’s desire to easily store, organize, print and share for generations to come.
Fujifilm, Kodak, and Konica Minolta have previously worked together on standards to make traditional photofinishing ubiquitous. In much the same way that today's consumer can get nearly any brand of film processed at any location, the PASS group wants to ensure that digital images can be retrieved from any digital device or storage medium.
“We’re looking at this from a consumer’s perspective,” stated Hisatoyo Kato, director, senior vice president, general manager, Business Development Division, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. “People need to be confident that their pictures and videos will be readily available to enjoy and share in future decades. With all the different devices and systems that touch those digital files, and with the speed of technological change, creating a standard focused on such future interoperability is critical.”
“It’s really quite simple — we want to make it easy for people to enjoy their pictures not only today, but also in the future,” said Ben Gibson, chief technical officer, Digital & Film Imaging Systems, Eastman Kodak Company. “With the incredible growth of consumer digital photography; the intersection of the imaging, consumer electronics and computer industries; and myriad existing specifications, a more clear-cut storage standards pathway is needed to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.”
“The standard created by the PASS group will not only satisfy consumers by simplifying picture and video experiences through device interoperability, but will also benefit the entire digital imaging industry,” stated Tsuyoshi Miyachi, president and chief executive officer, Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. "For instance, retail photofinishers and consumer electronics companies, such as manufacturers of DVD players, will be able to utilize the standard for expanded business opportunities.”
The companies encourage industry input, and are currently developing a formal process to solicit feedback from interested parties. Version 1.0 of the specification and the software development kit are expected to be available early next year. For additional information, contact Tatsuo Heki of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mike Graham of Eastman Kodak Company (email@example.com), or Yutaka Ueda (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc.
About Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
Fujifilm is a leading global provider of imaging, information, and document-related products and services. In the year ending March 31, 2004, it had global revenues of more than $24 billion, and employs 73,164 people worldwide. Its Imaging Solution business includes digital cameras featuring its FinePix series as well as color film and film cameras, color paper, and photofinishing services. Its lab equipment includes its renowned Frontier digital Minilab series with its outstanding print quality based on Image Intelligence, Fujifilm's exclusive digital image-processing software technologies. The company's Information Solution segment includes graphic arts, medical imaging and information systems, and recording media. It also is a leader in the LCD materials essential in Flat Panel Display manufacturing. Its FUJITAC protective film for Polarizers and WV Film for broadening LCD viewing angles are based on proprietary coating technology and other leading-edge technologies accumulated over its many decades of experience in silver-halide photography operations. As a global company with a reputation for the highest quality and reliability, Fujifilm aims to make innovative use of the most advanced technologies to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of its customers around the world.
About Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging
Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, print and view images – for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in infoimaging, a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and flat-panel displays), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). With sales of $13.3 billion in 2003, the company comprises several businesses: Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services; Graphic Communications Group, offering on-demand color printing and networking publishing systems consisting of three wholly owned subsidiaries: Encad, Inc., NexPress Solutions, and Kodak Versamark; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Display & Components, which designs and manufactures state-of-the-art organic light-emitting diode displays as well as other specialty materials, and delivers imaging sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Digital & Film Imaging Systems, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services.
About Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc.
Konica Minolta Group's business domain spans from imaging input through output. The Group offers diverse products and services which realize new digital imaging environments in a wide range of fields, from those targeting consumers to their business-oriented counterparts, including medical and graphic sectors. Its largest office equipment business sector consecutively offers advanced network document solutions, taking advantage of its strengths in high-speed, color and networking technologies. Konica Minolta Opto is the world’s pioneer in successfully commercializing aspherical plastic lenses for optical pickup purposes, which are used in all types of optical disk drives and players, and it continues to enjoy leading share in this market. Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. provides a wide array of products and services in the consumer photography field, including film, photographic paper, inkjet paper, minilab systems and ID photo system. Konica Minolta has been directing its efforts in digital camera prints especially in recent years, following the diversification of ways to enjoy photography, driven by the spread of digital cameras and mobile phones with camera functions, and at the same time, meeting people's diverse needs in combination with silver-halide films, which have retained its popularity consistently worldwide.
(First posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 at 10:39 EDT)