As evidence, the company will unveil a range of new digital products available immediately; announce agreements with a number of companies, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Kinko's, Microsoft, Sega, Sprint and Wang, that will result in new products and services reaching the market within six to 12 months; and showcase a new Kodak brand identity for Kodak digital products.
`George Eastman left us a legacy of practical science, coming up with technologies and products - not based on hype or some figment of the future - but on solving problems today and meeting customer needs in the present,` said George M. C. Fisher, CEO. `For Kodak, this represents new, incremental business, as well as the opportunity to drive stronger growth in our traditional photographic business.`
Among the many announcements being made by the company today are:
-- A new way to digitally format and transmit photographs that significantly reduces the bandwidth and memory limitations currently restricting the use of digital images; Sprint and IBM are already developing new networked imaging services based on the technology developed by Kodak.
-- A new Kodak Image Verification System (KIVS) technology will enable a credit card issuer to record a photograph of the cardholder on the card's magnetic stripe. Based on new hypercompression algorithms developed by Kodak, the system incorporates a decompression program to display the cardholder's image on an IBM terminal monitor to provide ID verification without slowing down the sales transaction.
-- Kinko's and Kodak will team up over the next six months to test-market imaging services at more than 50 Kinko's locations. The services will include walk-up workstations enabling users to easily design and print compound documents incorporating full- color images, as well as behind-the-counter workstations that Kinko's personnel will use to write Photo CD Portfolio II discs for customers.
-- Agreements with IBM under which Kodak will manufacture 2.6 gigabyte 5 1/4-inch and 100 gigabyte 14-inch optical storage media for IBM. In addition, IBM will begin marketing Kodak PCD writers, writable CD discs and related equipment.
-- Kodak and Hewlett-Packard will cooperate on developing and marketing a wide-format ink-jet printer and other products. In addition, Kodak will resell Hewlett-Packard printers as part of its complete imaging solutions.
-- Microsoft will collaborate with Kodak on walk-up imaging kiosks that produce photographs and Photo CD discs. In addition, the companies have agreed to co-brand consumer software products.
-- Wang Laboratories will work with Kodak and its subsidiary, Imagery Software, Inc., to market and develop jointly a set of common document imaging archive architecture based on Imagery software products and Wang OPEN/software. These products form the foundation for future Kodak Imagelink software solutions designed to integrate imaging into existing applications on all common server platforms.
-- The Kodak Digital Camera (DC) 40 -- a point-and-shoot digital camera, priced under $1,000, designed for use with desktop computers. It is capable of storing up to 48 images, with resolutions of 756 x 504 pixels and is available now.
-- New premium-grade paper and transparency film specially formulated to provide high-quality color images from today's most popular ink-jet printers will be available beginning in May.
-- A new lower-cost (under $7,500) thermal printer, the Kodak XLS 8400 PS printer, targeted at business people with a need to print photo-quality images.
-- A new open licensing policy for Kodak's Photo CD ImagePac format will enable people to read and write Photo CD images as easily as other common formats, such as EPS and JPEG. Beginning this summer, Photo CD service providers will write a free software utility onto each Photo CD Master disc along with the customer's scanned images, making it easier for people to use the images on personal computers.
-- A new agreement with Adobe Systems, Inc. to incorporate user-friendly Photo CD technology in such widely-used software programs as Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker and Persuasion.
-- New Kodak Build-It Photo CD Portfolio Disc Production software for Macintosh and Windows NT will be available in May, enabling people to write Photo CD Portfolio II discs on their desktop computers.
-- Sega will incorporate the ability to play Photo CD discs in its new Sega Saturn system, scheduled to be introduced in the U.S. in September.
In addition, the company displayed a new sub-brand for its digital imaging products that incorporates the Kodak logotype, a monogram and the legend `Kodak Digital Science,` in distinctive red, yellow and blue colors.
`Digital technology is already widely used by image professionals,` Fisher noted. `Over time, announcements like those we're making today will drive these technologies to the consumer. As we make it easy for users at every level to work with digital images, we will increase the demand for pictures, which will fuel Kodak's growth into the future.`
The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) at the Yerba Buena Gardens, located at 700 Howard Street. The presentation by George Fisher and Carl Gustin, Vice- President and General Manager of Kodak's Digital & Applied Imaging business, will be telecast live via satellite. (Satellite coordinates: KU Band -- Satellite SBS5 -- Transponder 12).
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