The Print@Kodak service will initially offer prints directly via Kodak, as well as through a number of photo-sharing sites and other partners. The prints can be ordered in typical photo sizes up to 8-by-10, as well as on novelty items such as mugs and mouse pads.
Kodak also will announce tomorrow that it has taken an equity stake in one of the partners, Snapfish.com. The San Francisco-based start-up offers free prints, developing and online photo sharing.
The online photofinishing market is expected to generate $1.4 billion in annual sales by 2003, according to InfoTrends Research Group.
"We're going to go after a big chunk of that 1.4 billion," said Kodak spokesman Anthony Sanzio. Kodak said recently that it expects half its sales will come from digital products by 2005.
Kodak's other partners include BET.com, ememories.com, MyFamily.com, Nuwave Technologies, PhotoAccess.com, Picserve.com and Weave Innovations, the maker of an Internet photo frame that can share pictures via a built-in modem.
For direct customers, the cost of 4-by-6 prints is 49 cents each, a 5-by-7 print is $1.49, and an 8-by-10 print costs $4.49. There will also be a shipping and handling charge, Kodak said.
Partner companies will be able to set their own pricing, paying a predetermined fee to Kodak for each print.
"We want to print direct through Kodak.com, but we also want to make our customers successful," Sanzio said.
Sanzio conceded that many customers don't know what size prints they can generate from their digital camera and said that is a problem the industry needs to address. However, Sanzio said Kodak has technology in its labs that would enable very large prints to be made from cameras with a resolution of 1 megapixel.