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Three manufacturers form PASS Group to safeguard digital files

Sep 27, 2004 at 09:40 GMT

Three major manufacturers have announced an agreement to develop a set of storage standards to ensure that consumers wil be able to view their digital photos that are saved on CDs, DVDs and other media in years to come. Konica Minolta, Fuji Photo Film and Eastman Kodak have formed the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) Group which aims to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices and that digital images can be retrieved from any digital device or storage medium in future.

Press Release:

Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. and Eastman Kodak Company, Form Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) Group

Defines Picture and Video Storage Parameters to Optimize Future Consumer Use; Input Sought on Version 1.0 Specification

COLOGNE, Germany, September 27 — Konica Minolta Photo Imaging Inc. Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., and Eastman Kodak Company, today announced an agreement to jointly develop a set of open storage standards for the consumer imaging and electronics industries, aimed at the preservation of digital photos and motion images on CDs, DVDs or other media. As information storage technologies advance, the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) group’s intention is to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices, preserving the satisfying ‘photo experience’ that consumers have enjoyed for decades.

  The group intends that the new standard will:

  • Define the requirements of digital media authoring/archival, playback, and print enablement for a new generation of products and services;
  • Provide interoperability for pictures, motion images, audio and related content among such future systems;
  • And utilize and unify multiple existing standards, to better meet the consumers desire to easily store, organize, print and share for generations to come.

Konica Minolta, Fujifilm, and Kodak have previously worked together on standards to make traditional photofinishing ubiquitous. In much the same way that today's consumer can get nearly any brand of film processed at any location, the PASS group wants to ensure that digital images can be retrieved from any digital device or storage medium.

“The standard created by the PASS group will not only satisfy consumers by simplifying picture and video experiences through device interoperability, but will also benefit the entire digital imaging industry. ” stated Tsuyoshi Miyachi, President and Chief Executive Officer Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc.

“For instance, retail photofinishers and consumer electronics companies, such as manufacturers of DVD players, will be able to utilize the standard for expanded business opportunities. ”

“We’re looking at this from a consumer’s perspective,” stated Hisatoyo Kato, Director, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Business Development Division, Fuji Photo Film Co, Ltd. “People need to be confident that their pictures and videos will be readily available to enjoy and share in future decades. With all the different devices and systems that touch those digital files, and with the speed of technological change, creating a standard focused on such future interoperability is critical.”

“It’s really quite simple — we want to make it easy for people to enjoy their pictures not only today, but also in the future,” said Ben Gibson, chief technical officer, Digital & Film Imaging Systems, Eastman Kodak Company. “With the incredible growth of consumer digital photography; the intersection of the imaging, consumer electronics and computer industries; and myriad existing specifications, a more clear-cut storage standards pathway is needed to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.”

The companies encourage industry input, and currently developing a formal process to solicit feedback from interested parties. Version 1.0 of the specification and the software development kit are expected to be available early next year. For additional information, contact Yutaka Ueda of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging,Inc.(ytk.kmpi@konicaminolta.jp), Tatsuo Heki of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. (thfpf@tokyo.fujifilm.co.jp), Mike Graham of Eastman Kodak Company (michael.graham@kodak.com).