Introducing “Digital Picture Frame” As a Service by RICOH
We all heard of SaaS (Software as a Service) but Ricoh take that one step further to introduce its newly developed software-only Digital Picture Frame as a service through their online storage service called “quanp”. Well, I don’t quite know how to interpret this announcement coming from a global leader in digital office solution, but it all sounds like Ricoh is testing the market with a soft landing in mind. The Ricoh’s service solution which company refers to it as a desktop slideshow application, which is a case of deja vu to begin is simply an application for displaying pictures that are stored in its visual online service “quanp”, where the users of the service can store their pictures permanently online and can access them anywhere on the internet. The user installs the application locally. It offers a 200 x 200 pixel display built on the Adobe AIR platform, which provide the added capability of adding comments on photos while providing a highly customizable look and feel. Ricoh claims that the existing digital photo frames cost and their always-on functionality by leaving them pluged at all the time with their proprietary software is a major draw back, but isn’t “ALWAYS ON” part of new internet era slogan, or may be things change over the past couple of years. Beside, I tough DPF market is just warming up and opening up a new market for digital equipment manufacturer ,while at the same time offering a non-PC users especially individual at their golden age to see the photo of their loved ones through an easy interface not to mention that the DPF is opening up a whole new opportunities for their manufacturers just the way the PC market did. But I could be wrong and this could very well be a disruptive approach by Ricoh to reach their targeted consumers, who are obviously PC users. According to Ricoh the user can set the quanp slideshow application to dispaly photos every time the user boots up, they can install it on their mother’s PC as an example where she can enjoy family photos every time she sits down at the computer ( I am trying to picture that!!!!!!). Having said all that, here are some of the major feature of Ricoh’s software-only digital picture frame; control bar for easy stop-start, downloading, commenting and flagging, real-time commenting by building instant conversations around photos, expandable limit on the number of photos stored where the user can display all or any combination of quanp places ( analogous to folders) within user account as well as displaying multiple picture formats (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .bmp, .gif), highly configurable display with twenty different colorful frames and options for transitions, dispaly and ordering. The user would require Windows xp SP2 or higher, Windows Vista or Mac OS X 10.4.9 or higher and 10.5.1 or higher. It also requires Adobe AIR 1.5 or higher.