Category: Consumer

Quest Toward Mobile Print Simplification Continues

Christine Dunne
May 28, 2015

Recently, an acquaintance had a near-meltdown when she couldn’t figure out how to print from her Windows tablet to her Dell printer. On Facebook, she implored friends to help her figure out what she was doing wrong—indicating she needed printouts for work, pronto.

She isn’t alone. Take a look at the user review section of any mobile print app, and you will encounter plenty of comments around printing issues (e.g., app doesn’t work, formatting is incorrect, printer isn’t supported). Indeed, recent InfoTrends research indicated that the top perceived barriers to mobile printing center around technical and compatibility issues.

Assuming you needed to print something from your smartphone or tablet for personal reasons, which would be the largest barriers to doing so?

Source: Mobile Devices and the Impact on Print: Looking for the Opportunities in the U.S., China, Mexico and Brazil

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New Standard Aims to Simplify 3D Printing Process

Christine Dunne and Ron Gilboa
May 4, 2015

Last week, it was announced that seven leading companies in the global 3D printing sector have launched a new consortium—the 3MF Consortium—focused on interoperability, functionality, and standards within the 3D printing industry.

The 3MF Consortium’s Logo

As a first step, the consortium is releasing a new specification—the 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) specification—that enables design applications to send “full-fidelity” 3D models to other applications, platforms, services, and printers. The first version of the specification is free, and available for download on the consortium’s website.

According to the press release announcing the news, current 3D design file formats—such as STL files—often have limitations around accuracy, ease of use, and functionality. They aren’t necessarily capable of fully describing models and all their characteristics. Read more »

Organizing a Lifetime of Photos

Ed Lee
Apr 30, 2015

Recently, a review called The Best Way to Organize a Lifetime of Photos
appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The author, Geoffrey Fowler, compared five offerings: Apple Photos, Shoebox, Lyve, Mylio, and Adobe Lightroom. In the article, he gives his impressions of each service and their pluses and minuses. Ultimately, the author decides that Lightroom is best for him.

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HP Decides to Cut Bait with Snapfish

Michael Whalen
Apr 29, 2015

Given the choice to either “Snapfish” or cut bait, Hewlett-Packard has chosen the latter.

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Lines Blur As Cameras Get Smaller

Alan Bullock
Apr 21, 2015

It’s an interesting time for the photo industry. Cameras continue to get better, faster, less expensive, and, perhaps most significantly, smaller. These devices are taking pictures of everything from scenery to sports, capturing life’s moments from new points of view, from vantage points that were very difficult just a few years ago. Read more »

The Inkjet Revival

Deborah Hawkins
Apr 20, 2015

Placements of inkjet printing devices for consumer and office use were positive in Western Europe in 2014. After years of downward spiraling, the 3.5% YOY growth in 2014 to 14.6 million devices provide a welcome break for the industry players. At a country level, the highest placements increase by country was in the Netherlands with 21% YOY increase. The UK, traditionally a strong country for inkjet technology, also experienced strong growth of 11.6% YOY likely linked to a stable economic situation. In addition, there have been significant developments in inkjet technology, particularly around page-wide technology in recent years that have aided this upward turn. Read more »

[Camera phone] Memories….like the corners of my mind…

Carrie Sylvester
Apr 2, 2015

Yesterday was first day of April, April Fool’s Day on the calendar, I was reminded that it is also my twelfth year with InfoTrends. In 12 years watching the photography and mobile imaging markets has turned me into a mobile imaging enthusiast. To celebrate my 12 year journey I decided to take a walk down my camera phone memory lane.

B.C. (Before camera phone)

In 2003, people had not even thought of a camera phone. Many people had already had their first car phone by the early 2000s most of those would hardly be categorized as “mobile” Read more »

Google Entering the Bill Delivery & Payment Market?

Matt Swain
Mar 30, 2015

Last week, Re/code published an article which reported that Google is working on a project called Pony Express to help customers receive and pay their bills within their Gmail accounts. Google declined to comment.

In our 2011 study entitled The Emergence of Digital Mailbox Services, we explored the possibility of a leading consumer technology service vendor entering—and disrupting—this market. Here’s an excerpt from that study: Read more »

WPPI Show Going Strong

David Haueter
Mar 20, 2015

It seems like every day, we see a new story or statistics about the smartphone decimating the camera market or pro photographers getting laid off from publications or news organizations. So, as a photographer it’s very encouraging to attend a show like WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) and be around vendors and other attendees who are excited about the future of the photo market. WPPI is targeted at wedding and portrait photographers, of course, but also draws photographers that specialize in many other areas, such as fine art, advertising/commercial, and nature & wildlife photography.

WPPI is held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

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The FAA drones on; pro photographers should listen

Ed Lee
Mar 12, 2015

Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), also known as drones, have caught the attention of consumers, commercial operators, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Drones are widely available for purchase, relatively easy to fly, and cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Initially, drones were ‘blind’ and did not offer much utility, except the entertainment value from flying them around. Recently, they have become more specialized in their purposes and uses. The addition of cameras, especially ones that provide live viewing, has opened a new world of opportunities for drones. Suddenly, drones have become cameras with wings.

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