List of Photo and Other Commercial Kiosk Products
HP Photosmart Express
HP’s Photosmart Express, the newest self-service photo kiosk, marks the company’s first foray into the world of retail photo-printing. Part of what makes this model the “industry’s first true standalone,” according to HP, is its ease of use. The design team favored expediency over amount of options, so that their snappy new kiosk would not have the gangly appendage of a long queue of people waiting for someone to figure out how to add borders. Consequently, the Photosmart can only make 4 x 6 prints, without the possibility of adding borders or text. It can, however, zoom, crop, and correct red eye.
In addition to its three quick steps of “select, print, and pay,” speed figures highly in printing. After the initial 18-second first print, the kiosk spits out prints in as little as five seconds. The station’s highly-advanced printhead, says HP, “enables the HP Photosmart Express to deliver higher performance and greater efficiency than other comparable systems currently on the market.”
After all, the second aspect of the “first true standalone” is the capacity and longevity of the unit and its materials. The Photosmart Express claims the following:
- A paper magazine with a capacity for 3,300 4×6 photo sheets;
- A printhead with a projected output of 400,000 prints;
- Six separate ink cartridges, in yellow, magenta, cyan, black, light magenta and light gray, whose 750 cc of ink each is promised to be enough for 10,000 to 50,000 prints, contingent on the demand for any particular color;
- Capacity for 100 blank CDs with an automatic CD-burner;
- Capacity for 350 photo envelopes;
- Software that sends maintenance reports to a 24-hour HP monitoring center when the unit is running out of materials or needs repair.
Furthermore, the kiosk is not only â€˜fast-acting,’ but â€˜long-lasting.’ HP promises that photos will “resist fading for well over 50 years”â€”an impressive claim, which promises a life 2 to 10 times as long as the average dye-sublimation prints, and 2 to 5 times as long as the average silver halide print. These long-lasting prints are waterproof, just like their dye-sublimation counterparts.
Of course, this comes at a price: the media for a dye-sublimination prints is about 16 cents a piece, while HP’s new prints cost at least 18 cents to make. The price for the system is $15,000, over twice that of the $6,250 Kodak Picture Kiosk G4 and nearly twice that of the $7,900 Fuji GetPix Kiosk.
But in its price tag, the PhotoExpress is touted as having greater efficiencyâ€”up to 40% more profitable per square foot than comparable units, with ten times the supplies capacity. Its 30.25 x 28 inch footprint packs in a lot of efficiency in its promises of minimal maintenance.
Its other facilities include:
- 48x write CD-burner, with ability to burn an archival CD of images in 60-90 seconds;
- The ability to communicate with Snapfish or Photosmart Essentials, so that customers can place an order at home and pick it up at the nearest Photosmart Express
- The ability to retrieve or upload images from all CDs, DVDs, USB thumb-drives, and all major camera cards, mobile phone camera cards, and Bluetooth 2.0
- 17-inch LCD touch-screen
- Wired and wireless networking
Kodak Picture Kiosk G4
The Eastman Kodak Company’s long-time status as one of the giants of the photo-printing industry was strengthened by its release of its newest digital photo kiosk, the Picture Kiosk G4. Kodak’s kiosks currently beat out any other brands in prevalence, with over 70,000 of these units worldwide. The unit costs $6,250 for retailers.
The G4 Kiosks took on a different name than Kodak’s Picture Makers, which have now been a fixture in some stores for almost twelve years, to highlight the advances of the Picture Maker’s digital counterpart. 4×6 prints are churned out as quickly as four seconds apiece, and the upload speeds from memory devices have also doubled. Now, customers can see multiple pictures at a time, and proceed more quickly to the selection and editing process, creating an all-around reduction in transaction time.
Other features include:
- The ability to retrieve or upload photos from camera memory cards, CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and Bluetooth and infrared technologies;
- The ability to burn KODAK Picture CDs;
- A range of printing sizes, from 4×6 to 8×10;
- Editing functions such as crop, rotate, add borders, and even photo calendar creation;
- Waterproof, stain-resistant thermal dye-sublimation prints.
The various media to make a print cost roughly 16 cents; consumers pay $0.29 to $0.39, depending on the retailer, for a 4×6 print. The compact, eye-catching design mimics the easy-to-use nature of the printing process. A study conducted by Forrester Research (before HP’s new Photosmart Express was released) ranked the G4 far above its closest competitor in usability.
Around the same time, Patrick King, general manager, Kiosks and Home Printing, Consumer Digital Imaging Group, and vice president, Eastman Kodak Company, pointed to the overwhelming level of satisfaction as a sign of the G4’s success as a product. “91 percent of people who print via a KODAK kiosk say that they will do so again,” he said, “and 93 percent say that they would recommend the service to others, significantly better than our competition.” The G4 has won nine industry and consumer awards, including one of the prestigious DIMA Innovative Digital Product of the Year awards.
Fujifilm GetPix Kiosk VP2/VP3
The newest of Fujifilm’s photo kiosks, whose history stretches back to the 2002 Fuji Aladdin Photo Kiosk, is the GetPix Kiosk VP3. Like Kodak’s Picture Kiosk G4, the GetPix VP3 was also a recipient of one of the esteemed DIMA Innovative Digital Product of the Year awards.
The GetPix Kiosk VP3 contains three printers, employing dye-sublimation with three colors: yellow, magenta, and cyan. It can produce 4×6 dye-sublimation prints in eight seconds, and in as little as four seconds for multiple prints. Its Gigabit Ethernet connection ensures a swift ordering process, while its Intel Pentium 4 Processor claims to be faster than those of its competitors: the combination of these features creates the “fastest available order processing speeds,” according to Fuji.
The unit was redesigned to boast a smaller footprint for more efficient usage of retail space: the VP2 is 23″ x 32″, and the VP3 is 31″ x 32″. Their identical height of 56″ is equipped with a tilting touch screen, with a range of motion from -10 to +30 degrees, for ease of consumer use.
Its Intelligent Media Inserts, a unique media drive design, are compatible with an array of digital storage including CDs, DVDs, mini-CDs, CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, and more. It incorporates a USB port, and upgrades allow credit card and Bluetooth compatibility. Furthermore, these Inserts are retailer-replaceable, and necessitate no special training or outside service calls in order to install.
One of the main benefits of the GetPix Kiosk as lauded by its production company is its adaptability and upgradeability. Retailers can format their unit to produce prints instantly, in an hour, or in days, to serve both in-store photo printing and wholesale processing. Other customizable features to enhance the printing options for consumers can be added to the base model as a business grows. The VP2, for example, includes one 4×6 printer and one 8×10 printer, while the wider VP3 houses two 4×6 printers alongside the single 8×10.
One of the most flexible in customer editing, the GetPix Kiosk offers the following possibilities and additions to prints:
- Zoom, crop, and enlargement
- Red-eye reduction
- Brightness, contrast, color and tint adjustment
- Black-and-white and sepia toning
- Image Intelligence technology, automatically optimizing color and quality
Other features include:
- Connection to Fujifilm’s Get the Picture Online Service, allowing users to place orders online. Get the Picture is also associated with Microsoft, Sprint, Cingular and Alltel, bringing consumers of these products to Fuji’s GetPix Kiosk for prints;
- A high-resolution scanner to produce additional prints from already-printed media;
- Ability to produce both 4×6 and 8×10 prints;
- Capacity for 500 4×6 and 200 8×10 pieces of photo paper;
- Ability to burn images to CDs and create index prints.
ExpressDigital’s Kiosk is part of its larger Labtricity Consumer Connection Kit. In-store kiosks provide a similar connection to separate lab technology that is available to the consumer at home with the distribution of the software. The hardware costs $2,500 for the retailer, and they can add an in-store kiosk for $1,595, or pay $498 for connectivity to home computers via NetKiosk.
The in-store kiosks have the following:
- PC with Celeron processor or better
- Microsoft Windows XP Pro
- 256 MB of RAM
- 40 GB hard drive
- 15″ Touch Screen SVGA monitor
- Picture card reader (all standard formats)
- Combo CD-ROM/CD-RW drive
- USB port
- Network card
- Broadband Internet Connection (DSL, ISDN, Cable or T1)
Photogize’s Kiosk is an in-store answer to the success of its Online Photo Fulfillment System. The standalone kiosks transmit information to a separate lab, and are not capable of printing photos themselves. At $2,495, it is the least expensive digital photo kiosk currently on the market.
The Kiosks have a number of formats and location possibilities. The standard computer-terminal kiosk can function as a self-service kiosk in the front of a photo processing store, connected to the lab via a LAN. An internet connection in any other business, such as a coffee shop, floral shop, or drugstore, can also enable the remote kiosk to communicate with the lab. Internet connectivity allows for one-hour printing services and guarantees.
If no internet connection is available, Photogize’s KeySweep technology allows collection of orders via a specialized USB device from freestanding Kiosks in places like universities and hospitals.
The new TKO-1 Mobile Touchscreen Kiosk, at 3.1 pounds, allows greater flexibility of placement. Easily supported by an adult female in one hand, this battery-powered device enables customers in a cafÃ©-like setting to relax while ordering prints. Its wireless technology also enables its mobility, and it could even be circulated at certain events taking place in a specified location with an available wireless connection. Event photographers could consequently use this device to not only show pictures to customers, but also to allow them to order prints from a remote lab.
The TKO-1 Mobile Kiosk now features the ability to â€˜dock’ into a station with slots for camera and other media types. Once the Mobile Kiosk uploads the information from the digital media in the dock, consumers can remove the device from the dock to make themselves comfortable while selecting and formatting prints.
Whitech’s Photo.Teller won the â€˜Expert Choice’ (as opposed to â€˜Consumer Choice’) award at the prominent DIMA 2006 â€˜Kiosk Shoot-Out.’ The Photo.Teller has the ability to view, edit, and order prints just like the industry leaders from Kodak, HP, and Fuji. Whitech’s true prowess lies in the creation of top-line kiosks of varying specialties (their other major line of kiosks vend food) and not in photofinishing, so the printer that comes with the Photo.Teller is actually of Kodak’s make.
That being said, however, the Kodak 6800 dye-sublimation printer contained within Whitech’s largest kiosk is every bit as dependable and efficient as the ones contained in Kodak’s own machines. Whitech’s PT-5000-series Standalone Kiosks can print both 6×4 and 8×6 photographs. This series also has an inbuilt CD-dispenser, with a capacity of 70 CDs.
Whitech also has two smaller kiosks, called the PT-1500 and the PT-2100, that communicate with a separate photo printing lab, either within the store or at another location. The latter can be purchased with a stand, while the former computer-terminal-sized kiosk is made for placement on a counter.
All three, the PT-1500, the PT-2100, and the PT-5000-series, have 15″ LCD touch screens, 52x CD-Writer and 16x DVD-Reader, with the ability to both upload pictures from these formats, and to burn CDs. Both the PT-1500 and the PT-2100 have inbuilt credit card readers; of the PT-5000 series, only the PT-5200 has this feature, while the PT-5100 accepts coins and the PT-5000 necessitates payment at the counter.
In addition to these features, the Photo.Teller can:
- Accept images from TWAIN-compliant devices, such as digital cameras;
- Accept film for processing, in addition to digital prints;
- Scan print media for the production of new or additional prints;
- Upload prints from any Windows-compliant device, such as CD/DVDs, CompactFlash, SmartMedia, SD/MMC, Memory Stick, xD-Picture Card, and USB devices;
- Email digital images to customers;
- Communicate with the â€˜Home Ordering’ program in which customers take home the kiosk software;
- Communicate with Net.Order in which customers can order prints from the retailer’s website.
Meanwhile, the Photo.Teller has, quite possibly, the largest amount of options for photo editing and manipulation of any digital photo kiosk. The standards of photo editing are in place, with bonus abilities to:
- Zoom and crop;
- Add text and captions;
- Add borders and frames, including calendars, and themed templates for holidays and celebrations;
- Create Passport and ID photos, using watermarks that indicate the required placement of the face;
- Colorize the image in sepia tones or black and white;
- Correct color automatically;
- Correct red-eye;
- Create movies from their favorite photos;
- Order photo gifts and photo books, delivered to the retail location from a separate center. These include items like t-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, coffee mugs, mouse pads, bags, and more.
Whitech also emphasizes the kiosks’ abilities to â€˜upsell’ and the flexibility that the retailer has over prices. The Photo.Teller will automatically ask if the user wants to add photo enhancements, and the retailer has the ability to set an additional price on these enhancementsâ€”5 cents to autocorrect the color, 7 cents to add borders, and so on. With both instant and delayed printing possibilities, a retailer can charge slightly more for instant prints at little increase of personal cost. Conversely, features such as the Express Lane Option, in which consumers can print all images on their memory card, CD, or DVD, allow consumers greater flexibility, too.
Lucidiom Automated Photo Machine (APM)
Lucidiom advertises itself as a â€˜Scrapbook Retailer,’ offering one of the largest amounts of different options to customers and retailers alike. The name of their photo kiosks is meant to bring to mind the revolutionary convenience and speed of Automated Teller Machines (ATM), but obviously, with many more functions and more possibilities.
APMs come both with enclosed printers and with separate printers, enabling the retailer to attach several kiosks to one printer, or to connect the kiosks to an existing printer. Conversely, you could connect a station to more than one dye-sublimation printer in order to increase printing speed and expedite the instant printing process. APMs can furthermore print to a great variety of printers, not simply one available from Lucidiom; Ludiom’s APM Print Station technology can connect to Copal, Mitsubishi, Sony, Epson, HP, Fuji Frontier, Fuji NC400 and NC 1000, Agfa D-Labs, Noritsu NetOrder, Noritsu DPOF, Nortisu Hot Folder, Konica R-1 and QD-21, and others.
APM’s ProfitWatcher program allows retailers to view the activities of each APM, including how much time customers spend at the ATMs, what percentage of available images are printed, which media types are used, and so on, in addition to providing sales figures and profit efficiency reports. Lucidiom is proud of the fact that the brand on their APMs can be altered to match the retailer’s name and style, so that the unit truly becomes part of the store.
Like many photo kiosks, all of Lucidiom’s APMs correspond with an online site, APMphotos.com, making photo editing and ordering available to customers 24 hours a day and in the privacy of their own homes. The vast array of the APM’s functions enable customers to:
- Choose singles, doubles, or index prints
- Burn images to a CD
- Order multiple sizes of images, from wallet-sized, through 4×6, all the way up to 12×12
- Crop images, eliminate red-eye, and other image enhancement features
- Add borders, templates for greeting cards, â€˜magazine’ covers and scrapbook decorating
- Print passport photos
- Print multiple photos on the same page as a part of â€˜package prints,’ with an assortment of 3×5s, 5×7s and 8×10s
- Make a photo into a mug, t-shirt, photo tin, mouse pad or puzzle
- Scan archival images and print media for digital storage and reprinting
- Upload from every type of digital media, along with Bluetooth and infrared technology
- Run the program in fifteen different languages
- Pay via credit card at the APM
Meanwhile, Lucidiom offers a cornucopia of models to retailers. For the four smaller kiosks that do not contain a printer, Lucidiom vends the DPB 1500 Photo Printer, the Mitsubishi CP-3020DU, and the Mitsubishi 9000.
APM 1100 includes:
- 17″ adjustable LCD touch screen, for the largest view of digital photos
- Pentium 4, 3.0-GHz Processor with Hyper-Threading
- 1 GB of Hyper-Threading RAM
- Windows XP Professional SP2
- Slim CD burner/DVD reader
- Two USB ports
- Two USB 2.0 Media Card Readers:
* xD Picture Card
* Memory StickÂ®/DUO/PRO/MG/PRO DUO
* Dimensions: (WxDxH) 16″ x 7″ x 19″
* Optional External Thermal Receipt Printer
* Optional Credit Card/Magnetic Stripe Reader
The APM 1200 incorporates:
* 15″ Adjustable LCD touch screen, adjustable for viewing at any angle
* Pentium 4, 2.4-GHz Processor
* 512 MB RAM
* Windows XP Professional
* Slot-in type DVD/CDRW Combo
* Credit Card/Magnetic Stripe Reader
* USB 2.0 All-in-One Card Readers:
o xD Picture Card
o Memory StickÂ®
* Two USB 2.0/1.1 ports
* Dimensions: 17″W x 18″D x18″H
* Built-in Epson 58mm Thermal Receipt Printer
The Luci Scrapbooking Kiosk is based upon the APM 1100, with all of its technical specifications, but offers special features for scrapbookers, such as 12×12 printing, borders and templates. Partnership with Prism and DigitalScrapbookPlace.com provide Luci’s users with a wide array of beautiful scrapbook pages. Meanwhile, the APM 2000 is an enhancement of the 1200, with more RAM and the ability to burn CDs and DVDs.
The APM 7000 is Lucidiom’s only standalone model, with the possibility of an enclosed printer. Its base can either house a roll film drop-off to provide both digital and conventional printing, or up to two dye-sublimation printers for 4×6 and 5×7 prints. It’s other specifications closely follow that of the APM 1200:
* Pentium 4, 2.8-GHz Processor
* 512 MB RAM
* Windows XP Professional
* 15″ LCD Touch Screen
* CD Burner/DVD Reader
* Credit Card/Magnetic Stripe Reader
* USB 2.0 Media Card Readers:
o Memory StickÂ®
* 10/100 Ethernet
* 56K Modem
* Dimensions: 28″W x 18″D x80″H
* Internal Thermal Receipt Printer
The CT-SL exists in a variety of configurations, from a countertop device for editing and ordering prints from a separate lab, to a standalone kiosk for instant printing. The kiosks are compatible with a dozen of Noritsu’s printer series, to match specific needs. This means that whatever you prefer, from silver halide prints, to inkjet prints, to thermal prints, Noritsu can provide you with the configuration you need.
The monitor-like kiosk itself features a 15″ touch screen, and sits 17″x 15.5″, with a height of 19″. A built-in thermal order-slip printer and specialty print support are already available, while audio support and the ability to burn images to CD will soon be incorporated. Bluetooth and infrared data transfer are supported, as are the he following input media:
- Compact Flash
- Memory Stick/PRO and DUO/PRO DUO
- SD Card and MiniSD Card
- MultiMedia Card
- xD-Picture Card,
- PC Card
- USB Flash Memory
The CT-X Photo Kiosk Software provides customers with the following photo editing options:
- Automatic red eye and color correction
- Zoom and crop
- Black and white and sepia toned filters
- Customizable greeting card and photo calendar templates
- Multiple language support
Storefront.com Instant Print Station
Storefront.com’s main business is photo lab and kiosk software, though it does produce its own standalone kiosk fully loaded with software, and enclosed CD burners and photo printers. The kiosk’s true strength is its ability to connect with an extraordinarily long list of other photo printers, minilabs, receipt printers, memory card readers, magnetic card readers, scanners, cash handling hardware, and more.
With Storefront.com’s Instant Print Station, customers can print any size of images supported by the connected printers, burn CDs of images, and upload images to their PhotoSite accounts. The IPS boasts the “fastest thumbing speed in the industry,” by which it swiftly identifies the consumer’s media card and generates thumbnail images. Virtually all memory cards are recognized by the IPS, in addition to CD/DVDs and Bluetooth, infrared and wireless technology.
Realistic product previews, aspect ratio-aware cropping, gallery and hierarchal image browsing, and optional full-screen viewing all enliven and elucidate the customer’s photo-selecting process. Imaging options include:
- Color-Science automatic color correction, in addition to manual adjustability for brightness, contrast, and hue
- Color-Science automatic red-eye removal
- Black and white, sepia-toned and duo-toned filters
- Text in various fonts and colors with drop-shadow and other text effects
- Templates for borders and cards with Storefront’s Border Packs
The Instant Print Station is also attractive to retailers, because, like Lucidiom’s kiosks, it can be customized with the name or brand of its resident store. Prices are adjustable, including decreases for large order volume, or increases for editing features such as color correction and text. The software processes real-time credit card payments, sending the amounts straight into the retailer’s bank account without storing credit card data in the kiosk in any form. The kiosk can be additionally altered and formatted to fit the retailer’s needs, including but not limited to language conversion for Latin-character-based languages.