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Digital image standards.

I3A working on new version of Common Picture Exchange Environment

The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), a leading global association for the imaging industry, announces an initiative to create Version 2.0 of its suite of specifications, CPXe, for the exchange of digital images.

Based on an open-standard Web Services framework, CPXe enables the global transmission of digital pictures, order, and commerce information between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers--regardless of the type of digital camera, device, PC brand, operating system, or photofinishing equipment used by service providers. By incorporating CPXe, photographic device and software vendors give their customers easy connection to a range of digital photography services. Released in February 2003, Version 1.0 of the CPXe specification is available for free download from the I3A website, www.i3a.org.

CPXe Version 2.0 will build on the foundation of Version 1.0 to incorporate important new features, such as access to storage services, support for composite products such as albums, greeting cards and calendars, and transaction logging for business-to-business transactions. I3A expects Version 2.0 will be ready for release in the fourth quarter.

Participants in the development of CPXe have included I3A member companies Agfa-Gevaert, Beaufort Solutions, Canon U.S.A. Inc., Digimarc, Eastman Kodak Co., Fuji Photo Film, HP Co., Konica Minolta, Noritsu Koki, Olympus, Pixology, Shutterfly, and Silverwire. New companies are now invited to join the CPXe Version 2.0 Initiative.

New features

"We have seen tremendous interest in CPXe as evidenced by the increasing adoption of the Version 1.0 standards. With Version 2.0, we are expanding the features by adding those improvements most frequently requested by our members," says Patrick Gaglione, chair of the CPXe Version 2.0 working group.

Specific new features of CPXe V2.0 will include:

* Storage Access service functionality--the ability to add, manage, and utilize images with any CPXe compliant online storage service.

* Transaction logging functions--enabling application providers to share in the revenue generated by orders they direct to fulfillment providers. Fulfillers, in turn, can now partner with any application provider, either by contract or dynamically.

* Complex products--standards that include support for ordering high-value composite imaging products that can drive up revenue and consumer satisfaction. These products, such as bound albums and album pages, calendars, greeting cards and postcards, are becoming increasingly popular with digital camera users and generate high incremental revenue for vendors.

CPXe is an extensible and open technology framework for exchanging digital images and orders over the Internet--any CPXe-compliant application can connect consumers and businesses to participating service providers in the Picture Services Network (PSN) Directory.

The PSN Directory Service

PSN is a subsidiary of I3A offering a directory service for digital photography users to locate and connect to digital imaging services. This global directory provides immediate access to an online database of photo services at www.pictureservices.org.

PSN announces it will provide services to Independent Photo Imagers (IPI), a national trade association representing more than 500 independent photo lab locations, and Graphx Inc., a developer of distributed photo printing software and services. Both companies joined PSN as Executive members.

As an Executive PSN member, IPI is able to list all its photofinisher members and partners in the PSN Directory. Graphx, similarly, will add the option of a PSN listing to the services offered to licensees of its Photogize digital photo print order management system.

"As our industry evolves faster and faster, PSN will help IPI members stay in the lead on innovation, and expand their business opportunities by connecting them with digital photo users seeking prints and other services," says Brent Bowyer, IPI president.

In addition, PSN announces the directory listing of two digital photo businesses: 30 Minute Photos Etc. in Irvine, Calif., and eXaNetworks in Portland, Ore.

Finding launching its own website moved its customer demographics from local to nationwide, 30 Minute Photos Etc. decided PSN offered the best vehicle to reach digital camera users everywhere.

eXaNetworks joins PSN to offer print services from the directory within their newly launched peer-to-peer digital photo sharing service.

"Our next-generation, peer-based system enables digital images to be shared around the globe," says Patrick Serex, president and CEO of eXaNetworks. "Through PSN, recipients of those images will be able to find photofinishing services right around the comer, regardless of the sharer's location."

The PSN Directory Service provides a resource for any photofinishing company, camera manufacturer, or online photo services customers to find and use digital photography services. The Directory Service is enabled by CPXe, developed by I3A.

--By Beth Duiser

e-mail: beduiser@pmai.org
COPYRIGHT 2004 PMA Magazine
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Duiser, Beth
Publication:Digital Imaging Digest
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:765
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