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by Future Image
CEO Alexis Gerard
and Bob Goldstein

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August 27 2007

Location-Aware Images - Camera Phones To Annotate Photos and Videos

Future Image Announces Research Study On Location Annotation by Camera-Phones; Topic to be Examined Further at 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference


SAN MATEO, CA, August 27 2007 – In preparation for the upcoming 6Sight® Future of Imaging conference (www.6sight.com), event co-host Future Image, the leading independent center of expertise on the convergence of imaging, technology, and business, announces the publication of “Location-Aware Images - Using Smart-Phone Capabilities To Automate Rich Metadata.” The report is the latest in Future Image’s series of research studies examining technology developments that will change how imaging products are made, marketed and used.

To enjoy and use their photos, people must be able to find them. That was hard enough with a few hundred film pictures filed in shoeboxes or albums. But digital photography has caused an explosion in picture taking: people who once took a few dozen shots a year now take hundreds each month plus, increasingly, video clips. With thousands of images stored on a PC hard drive, each with a non-descriptive name assigned by the camera, finding a photo or video they want to see or show has become a daunting challenge for average consumers.

Statistically, pictures are typically remembered, and therefore searched for, either by subject(s) – e.g. “who” is in it, or according to the occasion – e.g.. “where” was it taken.  Annotating images with information about location and event would therefore make them much more searchable, shareable, and useable. They could be automatically sorted, filed, or organized based on the data and a search query. They could be easily accessed and searched by the picture-taker and by others as well:  one family member could instantly find all the photos of gathering at a certain date and location from within another's otherwise unsorted collection of photos, for example.

“Location-Aware Images - Using Smart-Phone Capabilities To Automate Rich Metadata” examines the prospects for technology that will allow people to search for and find photographs and videos much more easily, by having them contain information about the location where they were taken. While GPS (Global Positioning System) devices are just now starting to become available for digital cameras, the greatest potential for offering consumers this enormous value-added lies in the direction of camera-phones. All mobile phones today have processing capabilities better than the average desktop PC of 20 years ago thereby making camera-phones, in effect, “smart cameras.” GPS chipset prices have fallen drastically in recent years, and the FCC's E-911 mandate ensures that US wireless phone carriers be able to determine the location of a cell phone to within 50 meters. Phones knows who you are, where you are, and, by accessing your calendar, what you are doing and who you are seeing. These smart cameras could automatically add that information to every photograph and video, as first described at a recent Future Image event by LightSurf founder Philippe Kahn, who is widely acknowledged as the “father” of the camera-phone and will be a keynote speaker at this year’s 6Sight.

 "Location-Aware Images - Using Smart-Phone Capabilities To Automate Rich Metadata” is a 25-page report that examines the prospects for future implementation of the technology in mainstream applications, the technical and economic obstacles, and the likely timetable.  The report is presented in the form of a roundtable interview that poses 12 standardized questions to ten key executives at leading companies in the field:

  • Adobe Systems: Gunnar Penikis, senior product manager for Adobe Bridge and XMP.
  • ComVu Media, William Mutual, CEO.
  • Hewlett Packard: Aaron Weiss, general manager, HP Snapfish Mobile Imaging, Leo Blume, manager and senior architect, HP Snapfish Mobile Engineering, and Evan Smouse, CTO of digital photography and entertainment.
  • Microsoft: Mike Calligaro, senior development lead.
  • Nokia: Andrew Elliott, director of experiences, Multimedia Business Group.
  • ShoZu: Jennifer Grenz, senior marketing director.
  • uLocate Communications, Walt Doyle, CEO.
  • Verizon Wireless: David Burmester, associate director, Advanced MMS Services.

“The average consumer wants their images to have information added automatically, rather than having to add it personally at a later time - or risk being unable to find them in years to come,” says report author Paul Worthington, Future Image’s senior analyst for consumer imaging. “Location-aware imaging will help people everywhere to find, share, print, and otherwise enjoy their pictures. In this report we have focused on phones, as they are closest to combining the camera and computer into a smart photographic device. At 6Sight, we will extend this conversation by looking at the development of a geo-imaging infrastructure by companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Earthmine, and how location-aware images will interact with this infrastructure in the future, as well as the prospects for annotating images with information about “who” is in them.”

“Location-Aware Images - Using Smart-Phone Capabilities To Automate Rich Metadata” is available now from Future Image’s web site.  For more information, and to view the Table of Contents and sample pages  


About 6Sight® The Future of Imaging
6Sight® The Future of Imaging is an executive-level conference that explores the transformative impact of recent and forthcoming imaging technologies on businesses, homes, and communities. Technologists, marketers, futurists, artists, educators, high-volume users, and members of the media come together annually to preview breakthrough technologies, envision innovative uses, and spark new ideas and alliances that promote the interests of the participating companies and the industry as a whole. The program emphasizes interactivity, rich media presentations and high-level connections among participants. 6Sight was created by Future Image Inc., an independent center of expertise on imaging technology and publisher of The Future Image Report, and is co-produced with the Association of Imaging Executives® (AIE®), a PMA® member association of photo imaging leaders who shape the strategic growth of the global imaging industry.

About Future Image:
San Mateo, CA-based Future Image Inc (www.futureimage.com) is the leading independent center of expertise on the convergence of imaging, technology and business. Future Image hosts the 6Sight and Mobile Imaging Executive Summit conferences, and publishes two continuous information services, The Future Image Report which monitors the impact of new technologies on the imaging industry as a whole, and the Future Image MIR (Mobile Imaging Report) which focuses on camera-phones and the intersection of imaging and wireless communications. Future Image also underwrites and publishes primary research studies on the impact of emerging, imaging-focused technologies or business trends, and provides consulting services to vendors, investors and large-scale users. Future Image is the official information and research partner of the International Imaging Association (I3A).

Media Contact:

Joe Byrd JByrd@FutureImage.com

Future Image
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