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Hewlett Packard Colour Olympics Athens - ePHOTOzine journalist Paul Frost checks out HPs new products in Athens
HP brought together 120 of the world's journalists to the Athenaeum Intercontinental hotel in Athens for a press conference between Sept 15th 17th 2003. Paul Frost from ePHOTOzine joined six other journalists to represent the UK. With the 2004 Olympic games coming to Athens in less than eight months HP launched this event with an Olympian theme, near to the original venue of the Olympics overlooked by the Parthanon.
The event kicked off with a presentation of the new products and expectations for HP regarding customer target groups. Basically HP split these sales areas into Home consumer or leisure user, SMB or small to medium business, the Prosumer, and the professional user.
The target groups where sales are expected to have the greatest rise were in the Home and the SMB areas, areas that HP were providing the largest range of new products to support the home and SMB consumers. Markets traditionally thought of as strong markets such as the Prosumer market were shown to have very little sales growth, and areas such as Professional markets were fairly static.
In a one-to-one interview with Michael Diehl, Vice chairman Consumer category
imaging and printing group, Michael stated that "HP are committed to
making the whole image making process a simple and enjoyable experience. This
will make the image pipeline from taking the image to processing and printing
as easy as possible. Integration of printers with digital imaging devices, is
one goal HP is working towards."
About the future of digital cameras Diehl says; "the consumer market is expanding rapidly, people are realising now that there is no need for vast experience to get great pictures. The new technology in digital imaging helps the home user to produce images that were only available to Professional users only a few years ago. HPs flagship new camera the Photosmart 945 is a good example of this thinking, menu driven with wizards to help the new user, but also packed with new technological advances to aid the consumer user."
The report shows that Britain is the country with the highest number of digital camera users and sales are expected to rise even further, eroding the sales base of traditional photography.
In a mini presentation HP displayed that they are working hard to bring wireless network capability to the home user. The HP 5850 is the first inkjet printer with wireless options. Being Blue tooth enabled means that for the home or small business user the ability for various technologies such as printers, digital cameras and projectors to interact and share data.
For the mobile office, wireless technology is advancing rapidly, this is expected to be needed by the modern mobile business user. The HP 5850 is provided with an optional battery pack that provides photo quality printing on site wherever that site may be situated.
|Another aspect of digital imaging that HP are getting involved with is the reproduction of classic works of art in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery. Large scale hi res printers added to a data base of pictures allows customers of the gallery to select and then print out a large scale print at a very high DPI on top end paper. This will enable museums to have printing control over quality and output, while bringing down the end user unit price. The quality of the prints was breath-taking, in some cases it could be said to be even better than the original as centuries of damage and dirt can be edited out prior to printing.|
At the event HP also ran a Colour Olympics "Pentathlon event to give everyone a chance to use the new technologies. Journalists were split into 10 groups, ePHOTOzine journalist Paul Frost's group comprised the seven UK journalists plus two Irish and one South African. Five tasks were undertaken with a 20 minute time limit and themes: wrestling with technology, shoot and print, 5000m cross technology ride, high photo jump and the long scan jump.
Each task ensured the teams used five technology work stations, complete with a range of imaging equipment suitable for each task. The team would be judged on speed, quality, and creativity.
And the winners? It should go without saying... Paul and his team were handed the winning gold medals (cardboard) and gold laurel leafs (plastic)