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HP snaps up digital photo technology license

Hewlett-Packard licenses digital photo technology from PictureIQ and will collaborate with the company on related products for the home.

Hewlett-Packard licensed digital photo technology from PictureIQ and will collaborate with the company on related products for the home.

HP licensed PictureIQ's PhotoBoard design, a collection of hardware and software that allows consumer gadgets to edit, organize and view digital photos.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP will use the design in future products, the company said this week. Iomega already uses the design in a product called FotoShow that plugs into a television to display images.

The move bolsters HP's push into consumer electronics, a market long dominated by Sony. HP hopes it will be able to capitalize on the brand recognition it has attained by virtue of its printer and PC business.

HP recently made another consumer electronics move when it demonstrated the prototype of a digital stereo that can download music from the Internet and record CDs.

Expanding into consumer electronics gives HP more diverse revenue sources during difficult times in the PC industry. But going up against the established giants of the electronics market will be tough, analysts have said.

The PhotoBoard product dovetails with HP's digital imaging strategy. The company sells digital cameras for creating digital images and printers for printing them.

Seattle-based PictureIQ doesn't sell PhotoBoard as a standalone product but licenses the design to other companies for royalties. The design uses a Motorola 823 processor and can record voice to accompany photos.