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Image courtesy of DICE America, Inc., modified by Shawn Barnett Speed portrait studio workflow with Wi-Pics
By Shawn Barnett, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, February 21, 2005 - 14:01 EST)

More and more the technological push is toward innovative use of wireless technology to ultimately relegate cards and cables to use as backup devices, while freeing the photographer to shoot more naturally without a long cable attached to their camera.

Two major camera manufacturers have addressed that need for their cameras, but DiceAmerica has aimed more specifically at the high-volume portrait studio creating a solution that's compatible with most CF card-based SLRs.

Their Wi-Pics Workflow system is a belt-mounted device with an 802.11a/b/g wireless transmitter, two CF slots, and an optional 20GB hard drive. The units are configurable to the customer's needs, with several options to turn the photographer into a key component in the inventory control system. Options like an integrated bar code reader, a mag strip reader, external power supplies, and even a wired option help the Wi-Pics system integrate into your operation.

Pictures are delivered to the belt module via a "smart replacement CompactFlash" card that fits right into the camera's CF slot and tethers to the transmitter with a five foot cable. A five-way navigator and LCD screen are available to set the device into its various modes, situated in an arrangement that is easily useable from the belt.

Once captured, images are stored on the device, and can be set to transmit immediately after each shot to a wireless access point, sorted by four fields: photographer, location, and two custom fields. Barcode data of any type can also be integrated. Looks like three or four cameras can be shooting at once, with the pictures appearing on point of sale display stations.

Because of the many custom options, pricing varies, starting at $1,700 for the base unit. With a barcode scanner, it's $2,150, with the 20GB hard drive, it's $2,000, and with both each unit is $2,450.

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