Photo-Me International is using the UK as its pilot for adding multimedia services and Internet access to its photo booths.
Photo-Me International has teamed up with BT to provide the additional services. The first interactive booths will appear later this year, with around 1,000 installed units in the UK by next spring, a spokesperson for Photo-Me said.
Photo-Me has 5,000 booths in the UK, closely followed by 4,000 booths in France which will be its next launch platform.
"Europe is an extremely important market for us, followed by Japan," said the Photo-Me spokesperson. "The US is relatively small as Americans do not generally travel that much outside their country so do not require passport photos."
BT will re-design the booths to include screens, keypads and net access, as well as retaining their traditional photo taking facility. Photo-Me will maintain the booths and choose their locations. Photo-Me will retain the revenue from photos and it will share multimedia and advertising revenue with BT.
"We feel that the consumer market is now ready for this type of service and it will substantially increase our revenue per booth," said the Photo-Me spokesperson. Photo-Me has 20,000 booths worldwide.
Consumers will pay around 20 p to receive and send email and £1 for every 10 minutes spent online. They will also be able to send photos electronically. The booths are likely to accept both smart cards and coins.
Shares of Photo-Me International shot up to 712.5p following confirmation of the joint venture with BT.
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