Kodak, HP announce digital imaging venture

They will seek to use high-resolution scanning and image science to develop compact low-cost digital photo equipment for retail locations, according to a joint statement. A newly formed company will combine HP's thermal inkjet and digital imaging technology with Kodak's knowledge in traditional and digital photograph technology.

The venture hopes to create a new business category called digital inkjet photofinishing, encompassing innovations such as Internet printing. Retailers will be able to offer customers both inkjet and conventional photos, send photos over the Internet for printing and print pictures digitally on a range of media.

The first products should emerge from the new company next year, HP and Kodak said.

The new venture will be equally owned by Kodak and HP, and is expected to generate between $US500 million and $1 billion in sales by 2005, HP and Kodak said.

In a related announcement, Kodak announced yesterday that it has signed a letter of intent to work with Adobe Systems to provide online printing for Adobe's digital imaging software products. This service will allow Adobe users to receive Kodak quality prints of digital images. Adobe's software already allows users to capture, edit, and organise digital images, and put them on the Web or send them through e-mail.

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Douglas Gray

PC World

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