(Special Report) - The silly things some companies will say to get media attention never cease to amaze us. At CES 2008, we had a long talk with Kodak about its line of digital photo displays, and one of the "out there" comments Kodak let out to our question: "Where do you think digital photo displays are headed going forward in 2008?" was, "Well, display size is a huge factor for us. A lot of our customers are interested in bigger displays that they can hang on walls. The displays we have right now are great for desks and shelves, but you can't hang them on walls for an enlarged view. That's one area where we are focusing on. We think a 32-inch display, while not a reality in the near future, is a definite possibility going forward."
Unfortunately for Kodak, this comment of theirs turned into a joke in the industry circle between other digital photo display makers. And we have to agree, Kodak was stretching it a little too much. The natural question to ask in response to the possibility of having a 32-inch display is: "Why would you purchase a separate, almost a decent TV-sized panel for about the same price, when you can display photos on your LCD TV just fine?" Yes, we asked this question to Kodak, and received an embarrassing: "We think people have different expectations, different requirements, so having a couple of panels isn't far-fetched." Huh? It's far-fetched when you are talking about hanging both panels in the same room. It's far-fetched when you can purchase another TV and have it serve multiple purposes. What's wrong with you, Kodak?
Fine, we understand predicting trends is difficult, so we'll give them some breathing room, but try not to make it a habit of making random comments with so much ease and grace next time. Deal?
Of course, Kodak's competitors ripped into the company on the show floor with outbursts of laughter and the strong denial of the possibility of ever seeing a 32-inch photo frame. As a luxury or novelty item? "Sure, maybe," commented one, but "as a mainstream gadget, forget about it."
We hope Kodak learned its lesson, and for those of you interested in a 32-inch dedicated digital photo display, either you'll spend a lot of money on getting a luxury item or it won't ever exist to begin with. The bottom line: buy a few flat-panel displays. They will do you good.
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