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.
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.
the winners? It should go without saying... Paul and his team were handed the
winning gold medals (cardboard) and gold laurel leafs (plastic)