Kodak has revealed exclusively to VNU Newswire that it will be selling Advanced Photo System disc drives in the UK for Christmas, both as external and internal options in PCs.
The APS drives will enable consumers to view photographs online, manipulate them and upload them onto the Internet to order extra prints from Kodak?s PictureNetwork Europe.
Kodak confirmed it is currently talking to a number of PC makers, including IBM, Compaq, Dell and Gateway to include the film drives as an option on their systems. External, standalone drives will also be marketed by Kodak, priced at #299 a company representative said.
Kodak hopes the move will boost demand for its Advanced Photo System camera technology. Sales did not meet initial expectations when Kodak and other photography companies introduced the ASP format in 1996.
The ASP cartridges will slot into the drives in much the same way as a floppy disk. Each cartridge stores around 590Mb of images and will cost #10. Access time for the cartridges will be similar to that of a CD-Rom, claimed Kodak.
The APS camera features a self-contained cartridge of 24mm film that slides into a chamber without the fuss that comes with loading 35-mm film. APS also allows users to choose among three picture formats, including classic 4-by-6-inch prints and 4-by-11 1/2-inch panoramic prints. After processing, photo bureaus return the APS cartridge and an index print to consumers instead of negative strips.
Kodak UK claims that the vast majority of cameras sold last Christmas were APS. Kodak also confirmed it plans to launch its AOL bureau in the UK. Subscribers to AOL will be able to email digital APS images to Kodak, pay by credit card, and get hard copy in the mail.
AOL subscribers who want to use the service will also be given a code number when they take APS cartridges in for developing. Friends and family who have the password will be able to view the photos on the Internet for thirty days and order hard copies. In addition they will be able to download low resolution images and print them out via their PCs.
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