Even though most people who print photos at an in-store kiosk don't pay any attention to the company that makes it, Kodak is pretty proud of theirs, which can be found in Wal-Mart, CVS, Target, Ritz Camera, and Rite-Aid stores, to name a few. In fact, it likes them so much that it's recently upgraded the software that runs the kiosks to add new greeting cards, collages, and monthly calendars to the types of prints that customers can print from them. Apparently, there have been a lot of requests for these types of things from the clientele of these touch-screen-operated units. Those of you who have used Kodak kiosks in the past might remember their calendars, though you could get only yearly calendars; the monthly calendars are new.
All the new offerings let you select images from almost any memory card, as well as CDs or DVDs, and allow you to edit the photo to remove red-eye or fix things such as brightness or saturation; preview your images in the cards, collages, or calendars; and you can even zoom in or out or change the picture's border separating the photo from the rest of the theme. The kiosks print onto the same type of paper used in Kodak's printer docks, which means that the kiosks print using dye-sublimation technology and yield tough water-resistant images. In the case of the calendars, you'll likely want to use a sharpie or other permanent marker to write on them, though when I tried a ballpoint pen on a sample I saw at the Digital Life trade show in New York today, it wrote fine and smudged only slightly when I slid my thumb over it.
According to Kodak, the greeting cards will start out with themes based around the year-end holidays, though other holidays and themes will roll out during the coming year. Of course, each retailer can choose what they want to offer to their customers, so the selection of themes and print sizes available in each store may vary. Retailers can choose from cards in sizes of 5x7 or 6x8 inches, collages in 5x7, 6x8, or 8x10 inches, and monthly calendars in 6x8 or 8x10 inches.
Wal-Mart stores are the first to get the new software, and many of their locations have already been upgraded. Kodak expects to complete the new software rollout over the next two months.