Epsonow Magazine

Page 10 - Taking it to the Web

If you pay even the slightest attention to the technology industry media, you're probably quite aware that one of the most popular words touted is 'convergence'. While many technologies become increasingly specific in their functionality, others converge with complementary ones to create broader and richer experiences for the users.

A prime example of this convergence is the recently launched Epson PhotoStation Web site ( Announced in September 2001, the Epson PhotoStation is a joint venture between Epson and the world's leading on-line photo company, PhotoPoint Corporation.

According to Ms Nancy Small, Marketing Communications Manager, Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1, Epson PhotoStation is another example of the company's commitment to providing solutions across the spectrum of digital imaging and photography. "One of the things we're working hard to achieve is encouraging people to really explore the rich possibilities of digital photography," she commented. "And PhotoStation, with all its features, is another way in which we're doing just this."

Once someone has signed-on to the site - it's free, by the way - photos can be uploaded to a personal 20Mb storage space, which is automatically allocated on joining. Members can then experiment with some of the powerful tools contained within PhotoStation, which include warping, morphing, bordering and special effects. The resulting images can then be e-mailed from the site or even printed direct from PhotoStation to the user's printer.

But undoubtedly, the most popular feature of the site will be on-line albums. Images uploaded to the site can be included in any number of personally themed albums, which can be viewed by the owner or shared with others who have Web access. All that needs to be done is a quick e-mail - again, managed through the PhotoStation site - to the people being invited, along with a password, and this is one of the great things about the site. Before anyone can see your albums, they must be invited.

"It's quite surprising just how many people have their own Web sites devoted to pictures of themselves and their family and friends," said Ms Small.

"However, the Epson PhotoStation site is secure and is complete with all the tools required to make the site very, very interactive."

So where's the convergence that was mentioned right up at the beginning of this article? Have a look through this magazine and you'll soon see. Take the Epson Stylus™ Photo 895, for example. This new six-colour and true border-free inkjet printer facilitates printing of images direct from a digital camera's memory card. Along with this is an optional LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitor, which lets the user view images stored on the card.

Then, of course, there are the latest additions to the Epson Perfection scanner range, the Perfection 1250/Photo and 1650/Photo. These scanners incorporate - at both hardware and software level - a direct-to-Web image scanning facility. Press a button and your image is sent straight through to the specified Web site.

In commenting on this particular feature, Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 Business Manager, Photo Inkjets and Volume Scanners, Mr Rob Bergqvist, said: "Imaging companies really need to have an excellent understanding of how people are using their computers, scanners, printers, and digital cameras. More importantly, how they would like to use them in the future. One of the key things these new scanners and PhotoStation represent is Epson's commitment to doing just that - listening to our customers then following through with the technology."

Already, Epson PhotoStation members are using their albums to:

  • Better stay in touch with distant friends;
  • Give their family a "home" on the Web;
  • Distribute photos from birthday parties, weddings and other events;
  • Present their personal portfolio and resume;
  • Show off baby pictures;
  • Promote their team or club;
  • Promote their professional artwork and photography;
  • Share memories with friends and family.

Great examples of what can be done, but exploration and innovation are the real uses.