Sony today announced SnapLab, a brand new desktop photofinishing solution designed to meet increasing consumer demand for digital photographs. Sony SnapLab enables retailers to provide consumers with photographic-quality printed images via the ultra small and light printer package and at a price both parties can afford. This latest addition to the Print by Sony product family means that Sony provides solutions for every link in the digital photography value chain, from image capture to instant print.
Sony SnapLab is a desktop-based digital photofinishing printer that produces high quality photographs from digitally-captured or stored images. The product is colourful, compact and boasts a large and very clear colour LCD touch screen. The display uses a graphical user interface that guides the customer through every operation and makes the whole process straightforward, interactive and fun.
The mass migration from 35mm to digital photography has liberated many consumers from the restrictions of film. Last year, more than one billion Source: Independent market research commissioned by Sony Europe, December 2005 prints were produced from digital images in the UK, France, Germany and Italy and this rate of growth is expected to continue.
However, while it is great news for consumers, the move to digital has drastically eroded the core film business of photographic retailers and photofinishers. Consequently, they are now on the look-out for new revenue streams. The availability of high quality digital cameras in mobile phones and other devices has also created new business opportunities for the opportunistic printing of pictures at events or while consumers are out and about.
Cutting the cost of entry
While there are now more than 22,000 Source: Independent market research commissioned by Sony Europe, December 2005 fixed digital photofinishing installations across Western Europe, some smaller retailers cannot justify the level of investment or floor space required by current photofinishing kiosk and mini lab solutions: a typical photofinishing kiosk can cost 12,000 and occupies significant real estate in-store.
Kiosk and mini lab products play an important role in the delivery of digital photofinishing services. However, there is currently a gap in the market that, if filled, could help speed up the mass adoption of digital photofinishing technology by small to medium sized businesses.
Sony SnapLab is targeted at organisations that want to offer their digital customers a high quality photofinishing service, but do not believe that the investment in a digital photofinishing kiosk or mini lab is appropriate. The product offers a lower cost of entry to the market. Thus the rate of return is potentially impressive: Sony estimates that retailers could achieve a return on their Sony SnapLab investment in just a few months, depending on the size and type of their customer base.
Helen Sheldrake, Business Development Manager Sony UK, said: The joy of digital photography is that you can view your pictures instantly. For the consumer, Sony SnapLab is a natural extension of the technology because it enables photographers to print out their instantly-captured digital pictures in a few seconds. For the retailer, Sony SnapLab offers a completely new revenue opportunity. The product provides the tools to sell quality photographs wherever consumers gather and is almost like having a mini lab on every shop counter
A photofinishing system for every occasion
Whether it is a petrol station, major public or private event or even the local newsagent or corner shop, Sony SnapLab enables retailers of all shapes and sizes to claim their stake in the digital photography revolution. The product combines the transportability and ease of use of a home printing system with the picture quality of a lab solution. And, while the products small footprint means it can fit comfortably on the narrowest of shop counters, its dye sublimation printing technology ensures photographic quality prints in an instant.
Sony SnapLab is also simple to install and unlike other desktop photofinishing solutions, does not require a computer. The product can be operated by an unskilled agent with just a few minutes training and the solution does not require any knowledge of, or experience in photofinishing. Changing the photographic paper rolls and ribbons is simple too: just release the handle, replace the media cartridge and close.
Sony SnapLab demonstrates Sonys commitment to developing products that are at the forefront of business innovation. Were not just creating a new photofinishing solution; were also building a brand new market with this product. Finally, it brings the digital opportunity to the door of every cornershop. We believe Sony SnapLab will become synonymous with the fun and spontaneous side of digital photography at a price point to match every retailers requirement,
Further details of the Sony Snaplab can be found at www.sonybiz.net