Inheriting shoe boxes full of photos presents challenges. You can leave them in the garage or attic gathering dust. You can argue with siblings about who keeps the photos, who scans them, and who shares them electronically with everybody else. You can hire a professional photo organizer. Or you can collaborate with professionals and incorporate their techniques into your system.
That’s what Epson has done. And that collaboration has helped produce the FastFoto FF-640 photo scanning system which Epson is
releasing today. The system combines what Epson says is a one-photo-per-second photo scanner with image organizing software. Epson’s Jack Rieger demonstrated the system a couple of weeks ago during a pre-launch briefing at San Francisco’s Le Meridien hotel. Rieger described Epson’s collaboration with the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). “We took the best of their techniques and embedded them in software,” explained Rieger, a chemical engineer and former film designer and digital product marketer for Kodak. These techniques include file structure and hierarchy for automated sorting of photos, a file naming system, a capture date that reflects the date the photo was taken, and searchable metadata which is the data about the data.
According to the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, 1.7 trillion printed photos “languish in boxes and containers.” Each month, people take another 10 billion pictures globally resulting in what the association calls “photo chaos.” APPO says it equips its more than 500 members who are independent professionals to “rescue” and organize all these photos. Now APPO has a new tool color in its palette of organizing tools.
“This is groundbreaking, something that was not possible before,” Rieger insisted. The scanner features a 30-photo auto feeder and scans the front and back of the photo to preserve any writing on the back. The software automatically restores and corrects the color of old photos. Plus the system ties in with frequently-used services including Facebook, Dropbox and Google Drive to enable collaboration among friends and family. So the sibling who inherits the photos can more easily digitize, organize, and share the anthology and collaborate on the collection with other siblings, relatives and friends.
Tools and technologies never create collaboration, but they can enhance and extend collaboration. This is true whether we’re developing a slide show with siblings or producing a product with colleagues. And the Epson FastFoto FF-640, a product developed through collaboration, also enhances collaboration among its users.