Culture

Kodak, CVS to put traditional photos online

The photography giant and online drugstore announce the launch of CVS Photo Center, which will offer customers co-branded photo services online.

Eastman Kodak and online drugstore CVS.com today announced the launch of CVS Photo Center, which will offer customers co-branded photo services online and at 4,100 retail stores run by CVS.

Although digital cameras are becoming popular, and many photo start-ups are focusing on providing services to those consumers, Kodak and CVS want to serve consumers that have film cameras.

Several online photo firms, such as Club Photo, Ofoto and Shutterfly.com, have been backtracking to offer more services for film users as they realize that a portion of the photography population has been left in the dark.

For Netscape Communications co-founder Jim Clark's Shutterfly.com, for example, film processing is a relatively new side of the business; when the company launched, it touted only its technology for digital images. For some companies, such moves are ways to get 35-mm photographers comfortable with online photography--and eventually, to help them go digital.

"(The Kodak-CVS.com service) is designed for the traditional mainstream consumer, someone who really doesn't have to become involved or knowledgeable about digital technology," said Dennis Hamann, general manager of consumer digital services at Kodak.

Today's announcement follows Kodak's recent effort to increase digital services, a market the company predicts will accelerate in the next five years. The photography giant announced yesterday that it is offering traditional prints from digital photos submitted online.

Through the CVS partnership, a Kodak customer can share and enhance pictures online by checking a box on the processing envelope, thus having the film developed in a digital format and uploaded directly to the Kodak picture center at CVS.com. Customers can also upload digital files from digital cameras and personal computers.

"The whole thing is really just about allowing people to share their memories more effectively," Hamann said.

When customers pick up their traditional prints, they can also receive a confidential ID code to access their pictures online. The picture center is organized into four categories: view, share, upload and print.

"This partnership means enhanced services and more choices for our customers and further reflects our commitment to provide the...most convenient service for our customers--on and offline," CVS.com CEO Doug Callihan said in a statement.