30 Minute Photos Etc. scans hundreds of prints in seconds

Close your eyes and imagine being able to scan hundreds of your customers’ prints in seconds. Think of the potential in sales, considering the billions of images in shoeboxes all over the world. Envision those reprint orders, the enlargements, the cross-country relatives who would suddenly be able to order copies of old family snapshots that have been stored under Aunt Lucy’s bed for decades. Now open your eyes and pinch yourself, because this dream is coming true. In fact, Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of 30 Minute Photos Etc., Irvine, Calif., is already doing it.

“I first heard about this a year ago from within Kodak because I’m so connected with the company. This passed my entrepreneurial elevator test with 20 seconds to spare. In 30 seconds, you have to explain what the product is, who the customer is and how you’re going to get the two together. In 10 seconds, I understood this was a huge grand slam,” Goldstone said to Newsline International. “This is a way to revisit the billions of photos people have saved in their shoeboxes — generations of family pictures. It just makes enormous sense. This is a goldmine. It’s something that is going to captivate the entire photo industry and will reinvigorate picture takers and families to open their shoeboxes of photos and bring them to retailers to have them scanned and archived.”

“30 Minute Photos is using the Kodak i660 Scanner ($47,000 list) with Kodak Capture Software ($9,200 list),” said Mike McDougall, APR, director, Products & Services, Worldwide Public Relations for Kodak Digital & Film Imaging Systems. “As the world’s top manufacturer of document scanners, Kodak offers a range of units, such as the i640 ($37,000 list) and the i620 ($27,000 list), plus other mid-range and entry-level production models.”

The scanners were originally designed for scanning documents, such as checks. In fact, the Kodak website lists the scanners under the “Business and Government” category. Kodak, for now, isn’t promoting the scanners for any other purpose.

“[We have] not commercialized [our] document scanners for photo specialty use, so we can’t speculate on this particular application,” McDougall said.

But, if Goldstone is right, that may change. “With hundreds of billions of treasured family photos waiting to be digitally transformed and preserved, I am convinced that Kodak has a blockbuster,” Goldstone said.

It will be a blockbuster for photo retailers, too, he predicted. “Just last Friday, [we] scanned more than 10,000 individual photos. Prior to introducing Kodak’s commercial scanner and Kodak Capture Software, we would typically process just a handful of photos each day,” Goldstone said. “The charge was $5.00 for each scan and it would take about 90 seconds. Now we can do a thousand in just minutes.”

30 Minute Photos Etc. is now offering to make high-res scans of a thousand prints of any size — from 3-by-4 inches up to 11-by-17 inches — and save them onto DVD for a mere [$79.50].

“People can then instantly make Kodak-quality reprints and enlargements, and upload their new digital images to share with others. They can add music, turn images into a slide show and easily let friends around the country reminisce and order their own reprints, which we fulfill the same business day,” he said.

“The convenience factor is overwhelming, because any size photo, from tiny wallet pictures on onionskin-thin paper to 11-by-17 cardboard-thick enlargements are all scanned together, instantly,” Goldstone added.

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