Jan 26, 2016
You may have seen the television ad where a boy is throwing paper airplanes over a fence to communicate with his dad, who is away on active duty. Each paper airplane contains a note from the boy to his father. A kindly neighbor on the other side of the fence notices the airplanes, puts them in a box, and sends them to the father. Sometime later, the neighbor receives a box in the mail full of paper airplanes with notes from the dad to his son. The neighbor takes the airplanes and throws them one by one over the fence, where they are discovered by the boy. The story is heartwarming and it’s a Hallmark moment for sure, but this is not a greeting card commercial. What is this ad promoting? The answer might surprise you—it’s paper and packaging.
This is one of three television advertisements created by the Paper & Packaging Board as part of a campaign called “Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds.” This multi-million-dollar promotional campaign began in the middle of 2015 and includes not only television exposure, but also print and online ads. The target audience is Read more »
Jan 12, 2016
Starting in the fall of 2015, Dr. Harvey R. Levenson, Cal Poly Professor Emeritus, presented multiple conference sessions or webinars dedicated to the issue of patent lawsuits targeted at print service providers. These patent licensing operations, colloquially known as “patent trolls” or NPEs (non-practicing entities), are individuals or business entities that persistently purchase or file for patents, with the sole purpose of charging licensing and royalty fees. This blog builds on some of the key concepts in one of Dr. Levenson’s webinars and also summarizes some recent developments related to patent trolls.
Patent trolls are an increasing international issue, and continue to be active in almost every industry. According to UnifiedPatents in their Q3 Patent Dispute Report, over 67% of all patent litigation in the United States are filed by NPEs seeking monetary gain.
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Jan 8, 2016
It’s been almost seven years since Nikon introduced the D300s DX-format DLSR, and for the last several years many Nikon shooters have been waiting for a true replacement to that model. There was speculation that a successor would be announced at nearly every significant trade show over the last few years. That day finally arrived with the launch of the D500 at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
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Dec 24, 2015
The two-part story about Apple on CBS News’ 60 Minutes last Sunday (December 20, 2015) covered a lot of ground, including CEO Tim Cook filling the shoes of the late Steve Jobs, the company’s legendary commitment to secrecy, the product design process, retail stores, and government access to encrypted personal information. Buried in part one was a 90-second section devoted to the iPhone camera, which revealed a few interesting statistics: Read more »
Dec 23, 2015
You get a drone for Christmas and you want to fly it outdoors right away. Stop!
Before you do, you need to register with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or face the threat of severe penalties. Effective December 21, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), also known as a drone, must register with the FAA before they can fly it outdoors. Those who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties. This is all being mandated under the guise of public safety. Registration is free for the first 30 days through a rebate, then $5 after that. Registration is valid for three years. To learn more about the registration process, go to the FAA sUAS registration site. According to the FAA, it expects over 800,000 drones to be sold during this holiday season. Let’s hope the website can handle the impending volume.
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Dec 22, 2015
Smartphones are wonderful devices and it’s hard to imagine life without them now. I think it’s safe to say that many consumers don’t use anywhere near the full capabilities of their smartphones, and this is especially true when it comes to photo printing. It’s a simple fact that most consumers are now using their smartphones as their primary camera. In the recently published InfoTrends 2015 U.S. Photo Printing Study, 63% of survey respondents said they use a smartphone most often as their primary camera, compared to 20% who use a digital point & shoot camera most often.
Smartphones have great potential to boost the photo printing market, as the smartphone can essentially act as a photo kiosk. The problem is that even though most of the leading retailers and online photo service providers have apps available for photo printing and output, many consumers don’t really know how to go about ordering prints from their smartphone, or even making quality photo prints on their own home printer from the device. When respondents to the U.S. Photo Printing Study who have not printed smartphone photos were asked why not, the leading response (at over 34%) was, “I don’t know how.” Over 15% said it was “too difficult” and over 12% said their phone “didn’t support printing.”
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Dec 14, 2015
For the last three years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.
Although there were many, 72, cameras introduced this year, the number pales in comparison to years past. That number of models, although impressive, is over 20% lower than the 98 models introduced in 2014. Just a few years ago in 2012, there were 146 models introduced almost double the number of cameras introduced this year (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). Just because there were fewer cameras released doesn’t mean there weren’t some great new cameras.
We have broken out some of the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless. Read more »
Nov 17, 2015
When thinking about taking photos, in year’s past the first thing to come to mind was using a camera. But today since almost every mobile device has a camera, the traditional camera isn’t the first thing people actually pick-up when looking to take a photo. For many years InfoTrends has been conducting an annual mobile imaging survey to understand what camera people turn to when taking pictures in various scenarios –overall, every day, and special occasions.
Nov 13, 2015
On November 8, more than 1 million New York Times newspaper subscribers received an interesting gift with their Sunday paper – a Google Cardboard viewer. Google Cardboard is a simple device, made up of corrugated cardboard and a pair of plastic lenses, which turns any Apple or Android smartphone into a virtual reality (VR) viewing system.
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Oct 27, 2015
On October 21, Western Digital Corporation (WD) announced its plan to acquire SanDisk in a deal that values SanDisk at approximately $19 billion. This merger has some interesting possibilities for consumer and professional photographers.
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