Fujifilm is set to launch a new generation of Fujifilm Ultimate table top photo kiosks, using the latest Microsoft ‘Surface’ touch screen technology.
The second generation of Surface technology has been incorporated into the futuristic ‘Fujiflm Ultimate’ kiosk, which was on display at The Digital Show in Melbourne, and is scheduled for launch in Europe about now.
Fujifilm Australia trialled several first-generation Surface units in (guess where!) Harvey Norman stores, and sources say around 100 units will be brought into the local market over the next few months.
Several people can view pictures together, select, move, enlarge or reduce them and, in this way, create a photo book – entirely without scroll menus, with just the fingertips, and with a broad range of options. Pictures from Facebook, Picasa and other platforms can also be used.
Microsoft and Samsung partnered to announce the second generation of the technology, the ‘Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface’ (SUR40), at the CES Show last year. Samsung produces the hardware and Microsoft produces the software platform for the SUR40.
The SUR 40 is a 40-inch (102cm) 16:9 LED backlit LCD display (1920×1080) with integrated PC. It incorporates ‘PixelSense’ technology, which has enabled Samsung to slim the unit down from 56cm to 10cm in depth. PixelSense allows a display to recognise fingers, hands, and objects placed on the screen, enabling vision-based interaction without the use of cameras. The individual pixels in the display see what’s touching the screen and that information is immediately processed and interpreted.
Samsung began shipping the new SUR40 to customers earlier this year and Fujifilm has been quick to adapt it to photo kiosks, and photo book making in particular, with the Fujifilm Ultimate.
Fujifilm says that, beyond tablets, the new table top kiosks are one of the first uses of a ‘Natural User Interface’ (NUI) – as opposed to a Graphic User Interface – beyond tablets. NUI permits direct interaction with the screen, multiple point touch, multiple users and object recognition.
Don Franz’ Photo Imaging News International, (Vol 29, May 7) reports on a presentation by Christian Schubert, Fujifilm Europe, on the new kiosk technology:
The Fujifilm Ultimate kiosk is designed to enable ‘socialised creation’ It will not replace but rather complement the standard kiosk.
The initial customer software is easy to use and the photo book application works by simply dragging the image to the page location with one’s finger (multiple people can work together to design the photo book). It supports multi-user and multi-touch; supports more than 20 different photo book formats; supports wholesale lab and on-site printing; supports all major photo editing functionalities; includes a photo management tool; and has an auto-recognition feature that enables it to automatically identify objects placed on the table.
From an operator viewpoint, a remote connection to Surface tables can be made to provide updates, download manuals and updates automatically, etc.
The operating system is based on Windows 8 and will handle current and future apps. The Ultimate can also interact with different devices through a ‘cloud’ connection for sharing files, images, etc.
Schubert suggested that the Ultimate kiosk may be installed in non-traditional locations, such as a Starbucks cafes, and could be used for B2B applications as well as the traditional B2C applications of regular photo imaging kiosks.
Fujifilm has reportedly been trialling the new kiosk in locations around Australia.
For more details, check out this short video from Australian kiosk maker Neo Products, which is also involved with the development of the next generation Fujifilm photo book kiosks.