X-Rite: new color management solutions, merger agreement


posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 6:44 PM EDT

X-Rite's i1Pro 2 products. Photo provided by X-Rite Inc.Color science company X-Rite Inc. has interesting news on a couple of fronts today, launching several new products and announcing its acquisition by Danaher Corp.

Of the four new products, three are based around an updated spectrophotometer, the i1Pro 2. Compared to the earlier i1Pro, the new version has a dual-illuminant design that allows tungsten, D50 and UV cut measurements and optical brightener compensation, with a single device and no filters. It also features a positioning sensor that allows measurement of smaller patch sizes, and is said to have better temperature stability and the ability to handle higher brightness levels. A new physical design brings improved ergonomics and a status LED that guides users through the calibration process, as well as improved dust protection thanks to a new self-cleaning aperture protection glass and calibration white tile cover. There's also built-in calibration and self-diagnostic functionality in the i1Pro 2.

On the software side, i1Profiler v1.3 adds support for the i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer, reduces the default patch size to 7mm, adds new measurement workflows, white-point editing and Russian language support, and improves handling of third-party printer test charts, CMYK+n profile generation, and the CGATS reading module, among other changes. This new software is available without the i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer as part of the i1Publish bundle. The three kits including the i1Pro 2 are i1Basic Pro 2 (monitor and projector profiling), i1Photo Pro 2 (adds RGB printer profiling), and i1Publish Pro 2 (adds CMYK printer profiling). Pricing is set at around US$1,200 for i1Basic Pro 2, US$1,550 for i1Photo Pro 2, and US$2,100 for i1Publish Pro 2. The i1Publish kit without spectrophotometer costs about US$1,100, and anywhere up to a US$600 discount is available for customers upgrading from earlier X-Rite profiling products, as detailed on the company's website.

At the same time as the new products, X-Rite has also announced its acquisition by Danaher Corp., at a purchase price of around US$625 million. Danaher Corp. employs around 59,000 people worldwide, and has divisions in five main areas: Test & Measurement, Environmental, Dental, Life Sciences & Diagnostics, and Industrial Technologies. More details in the releases on X-Rite and Danaher's websites.

X-Rite's i1Pro 2 products. Photo provided by X-Rite Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

X-Rite's i1Pro 2 products.
Photo provided by X-Rite Inc.


Press Release

X-Rite Announces New i1Pro 2 Professional Color Management Solutions for Photo, Pre-press, Publishing and Digital Printing Markets

New solutions include all-new second-generation i1Pro spectrophotometer delivering increased accuracy, ease of use and expanded professional level feature set

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (April 11, 2012) – X-Rite, Incorporated (NASDAQ: XRIT), the world leader in color management, measurement and communication technologies, today announces its new portfolio of i1 Professional Color Management Solutions which now include a newly redesigned i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer.
Built upon the success of X-Rite’s i1Pro spectrophotometer as the de facto industry standard for more than a decade, the newly enhanced i1Pro 2 device has been redesigned to provide an even higher level of accuracy, versatility, ergonomics, functionality and value. Combined with the recently released i1Profiler software v1.3, which accommodates all levels of proficiency and expertise, the new i1Pro 2 portfolio of four different products is specifically targeted to meet the unique needs of photo, pre-press, digital print and publishing professionals, providing exceptional value at very attractive price points.
This new portfolio, comprised of X-Rite’s i1Basic Pro 2, i1Photo Pro 2, i1Publish Pro 2 and i1Publish products feature groundbreaking new technology and applications. Each Pro solution includes the new i1Pro 2 second generation spectrophotometer – the most accurate and forward thinking device available today accommodating three measurement modes in one single device. These modes include the most commonly used M0 (Standard Illuminant A), the emerging M1 (illuminant D50) and M2 (known as UV-cut). Also included are i1Profiler, X-Rite’s entirely new next generation color profiling software, PANTONE Color Manager color swatch bridging software and ColorChecker Camera Calibration software.

“Exceptionally accurate color measurement and calibration remain basic building blocks for professional-level workflow,” commented Vic Stalam, X-Rite’s Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing.  “Nowhere is repeatable, predictive color management more critical than in the highIy connected and forward-looking graphic arts, publishing, digital printing and photography markets that make up the core Imaging market customer base for X-Rite. With the introduction of these new products, X-Rite once again delivers to color professionals around the world the products they need that incorporate important emerging color standards.”

About Next Generation i1Pro Spectrophotometer
The i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer introduces a new level of color accuracy, delivering increased ease of use and an expanded professional level feature set, including supporting the latest developments in industry measurement standards. i1Pro 2 solutions are sure to maximize profitability and minimize wasted time, ink and paper, while delivering the confidence that the user’s digital workflow is perfectly and professionally calibrated and profiled.

New i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer highlights:

  • New illuminant design allows for 3 standard measurement conditions  (ISO 13655 M0: Tungsten; ISO 13655 M1: D50; ISO 13655 M2: UV Cut) plus Optical Brightener Compensation (OBC) without changing filters or needing a second instrument.

  • Enhanced Optical Brightener Compensation allows for the most accurate profiling (both Tungsten and UV/LED mode) for today’s enhanced range of substrates. Now users can predict what colors printed on optically brightened paper will look like under different light conditions using a single hand-held device.

  • Positioning Detection with Zebra Sensor provides a more robust scanning experience even on special substrates and low-resolution printers. It allows for the measurement of smaller patch sizes (as low as 7mm) in manual mode and enables dual measurement workflows for OBC, M1 and M2.

  • New Wizard-driven interface with status LED leads users through the profiling and calibration process while providing all the options and control desired, regardless of expertise.

  • New Design Ergonomics throughout allows for greater usability, flexibility, cleaning, protection, and storage of the precision i1Pro 2 device.

  • Improved Emissive Measurement allows for better temperature stability and higher brightness levels resulting in the best possible calibration and profiling of monitors ever.

  • All new diagnostics and self-correction features
    Wavelength calibration LED allows for self diagnosis of optical grating in relation to sensor during white calibration (with automatic correction and notifications)

  • Maintaining and protecting the device (and investment) is easier than ever
    Self-cleanable aperture protection glass and calibration white tile cover provides additional built-in protection from dust and dirt.

About i1Profiler Software
With the latest release of i1Profiler software v1.3, X-Rite has further enhanced this next generation professional color management software. i1Profiler offers an unprecedented level of flexibility and features a number of unique color management capabilities such as optimizing profiles, creating profiles with ambient light measurements, compensating for optical brighteners in papers, and utilizing simple yet advanced controls for black separation and significant ink savings, adding to users’ power and control in creating professional quality profiles. Users can choose between a ‘basic’, wizard-driven interface; or an ‘advanced’, user-driven interface to create high quality, precise, custom color profiles for monitors, projectors, printers, and presses.

New i1Profiler Software v1.3 highlights:

  • i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer support added for monitor, projector and printer profiling

  • M1 measurement mode support added

  • White Point Editing added – from current measurement, saved measurement, ICC profile, or custom

  • Improved CGATS reading module

  • Improved handling for printer test chart measurement

  • Default patch size reduced to 7mm

  • Two new measurement workflows added:

  • Measure Chart – specify number of rows and columns

  • Measure Reference Chart – import CGATS reference from ProfileMaker 5

  • Improved CMYK+n profile generation

  • Russian language support added

About X-Rite i1 Professional Color Management Solutions
i1Basic Pro 2 is a fundamental solution for high-end monitor profiling, monitor and printing quality verification, and spot color measurement. Designed for an imaging professional’s unique needs, i1Basic Pro is ideal for an effective workflow in a color-managed ecosystem. i1Basic Pro includes i1Profiler software, PANTONE Color Manager software and an i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer.

i1Photo Pro 2 is specifically designed for discerning photo professionals to manage their RGB workflow from camera to display and projector to print. Thanks to the iterative profiling capability of the i1Profiler software, professional photo users will enjoy the highest quality color results that especially target highlight and shadow details and delivers greater color accuracy for more neutral grays and natural skin tones.  With the new Optical Brightener Compensation capability, photographers can even optimize their prints by taking into account optical brightening agents often found in photo papers and create output profiles for specific lighting conditions in studios or galleries, or wherever the print will be displayed.

i1Publish Pro 2 is the ultimate, fully-featured ICC profiling solutions for imaging professionals that need to organize and manage their complete RGB, CMYK and CMYK+ (CMYK plus any 4) prepress workflows, complete with new assurance validation and verification functions using digital standards. This includes a display QA function to check soft proofing for ISO (G7, SWOP, PSO, Japan Color) and a printer QA function to check print quality using ISO media wedges (IDEAlliance ISO Control Wedge or Fogra Media Wedge). With the emerging M1 measurement capability, imaging pros can rely on consistent measurement for visual match under industry standard viewing conditions, including the ability to appropriately account for paper Optical Brightening Agents (OBA).

i1Photo Pro 2 and i1Publish Pro 2 include i1Profiler software, an i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer, PANTONE Color Manager software, ColorChecker Proof target (for direct viewing analysis of ColorChecker target compared to customer’s printed target), mini ColorChecker Classic target, and ColorChecker camera calibration software. i1Publish (a standalone software package) includes all of the above except for the spectrophotometer.

Availability and Upgrades
The new i1Pro 2 Professional Color Management Solutions are immediately available from X-Rite’s online store (North America), and also from the company’s worldwide network of resellers. i1Publish Pro 2 will also be offered with two upgrade options based on original solution purchased.  For more information, please visit www.xrite.com or www.XritePhoto.com.

About X-Rite
(NASDAQ: XRIT) X-Rite is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes design industry color leader Pantone, Inc., develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite’s expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical.  For further information, please visit www.xrite.com or www.XritePhoto.com

©2012 X-Rite, Inc. All rights reserved. X-Rite is a registered trademark of X-Rite, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.