Kodak's Photo CD, PhotoYCC color space Kodak recently revealed several pieces of its digital image strategy. The first is a product: Photo CD, a system for turning snapshots into images on a CD-ROM. The second is a technology: a new color space, complete with developer tooklits and application software.
Kodak has long been aware of the necessity of looking beyond the silver-halide technology that has been the mainstay of image capture for the past hundred years. It is convinced that the future of imaging is electronic and that it must invest in the development of that future. Sometimes that has taken the form of buying companies in the electronic imaging and publishing fields. Eikonix and Atex, for example, were acquired with the idea that Kodak needed to learn their technology.
However, Kodak has always been primarily a consumer products company. Its greatest successes have come in making a technology so simple and so accessible to users that they cease to think of it as technology. As George Eastman's masterful slogan had it, "You push the button, we do the rest."
Kodak is aware that silver-based film is the quality, price and convenience standard that electronic images have to meet. On the other hand, electronic images have their own appeal: no wet chemistry, special effects are easy to achieve and there is no loss of color quality over time.
Kodak announced a new technology for home photography with an electronic twist: snapshots on a CD-ROM. It calls its scheme Photo CD. The idea is that your friendly local photo finisher, after developing and printing your roll of film in the conventional way, would run the film through a high-resolution digitizer and store the resulting image data on a …