Flashpix By Live Picture

Posted on 7/6/1998 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



July 6, 1998

One thing that inhibits the selling of products on the web is the poor quality
of on-line images, particularly when the viewer needs to examine detail. Live
Pictures' FlashPix technology solves that problem. Sellers can now allow the
buyer to zoom in on any detail of the product they want to examine. The close-up
image has the same clarity as the overall.

If you are looking for a baseball glove you can zoom in on to see the detail of the webbing.
If you are looking at a T-shirt you can examine the detail of the design.

To get an idea of how this works take a look at
www.SportSite.com which has FlashPix
images of nearly 3,000 products on the site. Not all the products are supported with FlashPix
images so you need to search for items that indicate they have Live Picture files.

Once in the site, do a search on baseball, and then equipment to get a listing of several
products that have Life Picture files. When you have opened the basic file you can click
on any point in the file and zoom in. The degree to which you can zoom is a function of
how large a basic underlying file the designers of the site have used.

Brett Allsop, president of Cedro Group, Inc., the
company that developed and manages SportSite.com said "Live Picture's FlashPix images
deliver a level of intimacy and detail
that printed catalogs or other online images simply can't match. Best of all, the Live Picture
Server makes it happen without requiring plug-ins or special software."

This technology has many implications for photographers and image sellers.

  • It makes on-line catalogs much more useful tools.
  • Expect to see a dramatic increase in the use of this technology on-line.
  • In theory, you can get a more detailed view of a product on line than in a print
    catalog because you can enlarge the image to a greater extent.
  • Larger image files will now be commonly available on-line making it harder to
    control unauthorized uses of these images.
  • FlashPix will be used to market stock images, allowing users to examine images
    in greater detail, but also making larger image files easily available on-line.

SportSite.com plans to increase the number of resolution-on-demand images used to sell its
products online. The site's design team also is working with Live Picture to implement Live
Picture 360-degree panoramas and interactive 3D product views in the near future, which means
consumers will be able to pick up and rotate a product, making it even easier to see details of
the products they are buying. The effort is part of a strategic technology relationship between
the two companies.

Live Picture Image Servers enable anyone with a standard Web browser to view high-resolution
images without the need for plug-ins or special client software. A range of Live Picture Image
Servers is available to meet the unique needs of each customer - from small business to
enterprise-wide solutions. Each version features a robust, high-performance image server at its
core with easy-to-use administration tools and file conversion utilities. Enhanced versions permit
controlled access to images and levels of resolution, and track which high-value image assets are
examined. For greater extensibility or integration with database applications, advanced server
versions provide a fully documented software developer kit (SDK).

Live Picture Image Servers are based on the industry-standard FlashPix image file format and
Internet Imaging Protocol (IIP), invented by Live Picture and endorsed by the Digital Imaging
Group, whose founding members include Adobe Systems Incorporated, Canon,
Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Intel,
Live Picture Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

Hewlett-Packard Version

Hewlett-Packard Company is also marketing a version of this software which they call
HP OpenPix ImageIgniter, along with a new program called "ImageIgnite Your Site." It
is expected to enhance Web commerce and
communication significantly and make it easy for businesses to fill their
electronic storefronts and catalogs with the image-rich content.

"Companies are conducting more and more business electronically," said
Kristy Holch, principal of Boston-based InfoTrends analyst group. "By making
it easier for developers to create high-quality, image-rich sites and
enabling users to interact with these images, HP OpenPix ImageIgniter gives
companies, developers and customers more control."

ImageIgniter Features

HP OpenPix ImageIgniter provides a comprehensive set of services for
managing and distributing high volumes of photo-quality images over the Web.
It enables fast previewing of images, easy image retrieval, streamlined
image management and photographic-quality Web-based printing. It features
the highest-quality viewing and printing on the Web, analyzes and reports on
image use, integrates software authoring tools, and provides low-cost image
operation and administration.

  • OpenPix Adaptive Delivery allows images to be served to all major
    browsers and enables end users to select only the area of an
    image they want to view and then print that portion of the image
    at higher resolutions. This allows the developer, as well as the
    viewer, to customize electronic catalog pages for the highest-quality
    viewing and printing on the Web.

  • OpenPix Image Reporter tracks and analyzes the viewership of
    OpenPix-ignited composite images and delivers separate activity
    reports for each image element. Companies implementing
    ImageIgniter also can track the frequency of views and prints.

  • OpenPix Authoring Assistant works with environments such as
    Allaire HomeSite, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft(R)
    FrontPage to enable quick and easy Web-site ignition in only four
    easy steps.

  • OpenPix Service Manager provides a single point of remote or
    local administration, with user configuration parameters,
    logging/monitoring and diagnostics tools.

While this product is similar to Live Pictures' FlashPix, Live Picture says
their version has administrative features which offer greater protection
and tracking of the images used.

Copyright © 1998 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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