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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kodak Innovation Reviewed

Eastman Kodak has been getting plenty of media attention for its newest gee-whiz gadget -- the EasyShare V570, believed to be the world's first digital camera with two separate lenses. One of the lenses is a wide-angle; the other, a regular zoom lens. Here are some reviews of the new camera, from, Digital Camera Resource and a summary from British site Pocket Lint, posted at Digital Camera Tracker. A story on the camera by yours truly was briefly the top business story on the Google News business web site. The idea behind the second lens is to make the camera more photographically appealing -- think group shots. No longer do you have to tell people to "squeeze in," according to Kodak. Incidentally, the research scientist who developed the breakthrough technology is located in Rochester. Because of vacations and travel, we were unable to reach him.

Almost more interesting than the camera may be Kodak's deal with Skype, which provides technology that allows customers to make calls using the Internet network. Kodak developed software that will essentially integrate phone calling and photo sharing in one neat little package. After deadline yesterday, Alexis Gerard of Future Image Report, one of the top analysts of digital imaging in the country, called to give his bullish take. He says the deal is very significant because it is the first real attempt to create a "sharing" experience over the Internet. "We've been saying for a long time that with these photo sharing sites, the sharing word is a complete misnomer. What they really are is photo distribution sites. The essence of the sharing is the interpersonal experience." This is now possible via Kodak and Skype, Gerard says.


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