Kodak CEO Outlines Emerging Platform for Economic Expansion: Infoimaging
Press release from the issuing company
NEW YORK--Aug. 6, 2002--Communications and commerce are at the threshold of a far-reaching expansion that will provide significant opportunities for economic growth and fundamentally change the imaging and information technology industries, Daniel A. Carp, chairman and CEO of Eastman Kodak Company, told an audience today at the "IDC Imaging Convergence Forum: Exploring the Potential of Infoimaging."
This expansion is being driven by infoimaging, a $385 billion industry created by the convergence of image science and information technology.
"Infoimaging is a new lens for viewing our businesses - one that helps us identify opportunities to innovate and creatively solve a vast array of customer needs," Carp said. "By focusing on consumer and customer benefits rather than technology alone, this convergence creates an exciting opportunity to change how people communicate, conduct commerce and ultimately grow our business."
Organized by industry analyst firm IDC, the "IDC Imaging Convergence Forum: Exploring the Potential of Infoimaging" is a two-day conference that continues on Wednesday, Aug. 7, and includes other technology and imaging companies and organizations such as AOL Time Warner, EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard, IBM Corp., Iron Mountain Inc., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, and SONY Electronics Inc.
In his speech - titled "Infoimaging: A New Platform for Economic Expansion" - Carp compared infoimaging to the genesis of new and profitable industries created as a result of the invention and mass production of the automobile - fast food, motels, drive-up banking, gas stations and automobile insurance, to name a few.
"Today, we're standing at a similar threshold in the imaging and information technology industries," he told the nearly 200 attendees at the conference. "There's room for growth and innovation in each of these industries. But when you look at the opportunity presented by the convergence of the two, the potential is almost limitless. Convergence means a more complex industry. But within this new framework, we expect to discover new ideas and applications - some we can't even imagine today."
Carp outlined several examples of infoimaging in action, including:
* Health Imaging - Dr. Jerri Nielsen, an American physician working in Antarctica, tells a fascinating story about discovering a lump in her breast and how she was treated through a remarkable set of circumstances and technology. Unable to leave the South Pole, supplies were air-dropped from the U.S. National Guard, and a colleague was able to connect a camera, a computer and microscope to e-mail images of the cancer cells to a doctor in Indiana, who directed Nielsen's treatment.
* The Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) - Kodak has joined with the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), Fujifilm and Hewlett-Packard to create technical standards that will make printing digital pictures as easy as it is to print from film. Once CPXe is implemented, consumers will be able to capture photos with any digital camera, upload them to any participating photofinisher, and order prints for home delivery or in-store pick up.
* Kodak's EasyShare Digital Camera System - EasyShare digital cameras and docking stations enable images to be digitally captured, easily transferred to a PC, edited, sent by e-mail, and printed.
Carp stressed that although these examples involve the convergence of complex technologies, companies in the infoimaging industry will only be successful if they focus on the consumer benefits of technology and not on technology alone.
"While technology plays a key role in infoimaging, it's important to remember that people are buying the capabilities technology makes possible," he said. "The patient whose disease is diagnosed faster doesn't care about pixels or bandwidth. Neither does the grandmother who receives an e-mail photo of her new grandson."
This approach to meeting customer needs is at the heart of Kodak's strategy for growing within the infoimaging industry. In his speech, Carp outlined Kodak's four key strategies for driving growth: expand the benefits of film; drive output--printed pictures, text and graphics--across all of Kodak's businesses; make digital easier to use for both commercial customers and consumers; and develop new businesses in new markets.
Carp noted that alliances with other companies - including competitors - are essential for infoimaging companies to thrive. Going it alone is a risky endeavor, he said.
"Kodak has teamed up with a number of key players over recent years with the understanding that our combined strengths will produce new growth faster," he said. "A good example of such an alliance is NexPress, a joint venture by Kodak with Heidelberg, one of the world's foremost providers of printing and graphic arts equipment. Another example is digital cinema, which will eventually revolutionize the theater business. Kodak is currently working with IBM and JVC on a Digital Cinema Operating System that will play an important role.
"Another alliance driving growth is Phogenix Imaging, a joint venture that blends Kodak's image science and photofinishing expertise with Hewlett-Packard's thermal inkjet technologies," Carp added. "We compete fiercely with HP in digital cameras. And we collaborate with them with equal passion on the Phogenix DFX digital photofinishing system."
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