Eastman Kodak Company announced an investment in DataPlay, Inc., a leading developer of digital storage media for portable Internet appliances and consumer electronic devices, including digital cameras.
The relationship with DataPlay provides Kodak with greater opportunity to offer products using DataPlay’s low-cost storage capabilities and take advantage of the convergence of information technology and imaging.
The investment was made through the Kodak Venture group, headed by Ted Lewis, Director of Digital Business Development and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. Kodak will receive a board observer seat with its investment.
Based on technology developed by Kodak for compact optical storage, DataPlay digital media allows access to all forms of digital content across digital devices and platforms, including images, documents, music, software, games, video and more. About the size of a quarter, DataPlay digital media is a micro-optical disc that permanently stores vast amounts of digital content, whether downloaded from the Internet or created by consumers. The digital media comes in two formats: a single-sided version with a capacity of 250 megabytes or a double-sided disc holding 500 MB. At a cost of about $10, one 500 MB digital media can hold hundreds of high-resolution photographs, 11 hours of downloaded music or five complete pre-recorded albums of CD-quality music. Working in partnership with leading content providers and consumer electronics manufacturers, DataPlay anticipates digital media containing pre-recorded music to be available beginning 4th Quarter 2001, coinciding with the availability of DataPlay-enabled consumer electronic devices and blank media.
The investment in DataPlay is Kodak’s latest move in the infoimaging industry, which is driven by the convergence of images and information technology. Infoimaging unites three closely related imaging markets—services / media, such as DataPlay digital media, infrastructure and devices—that enable people to more easily use images as a fast and effective way to share pictures as information, entertainment or memories
“DataPlay’s digital media will enable Kodak to offer products based on DataPlay’s low-cost storage capabilities that will create new revenue streams in the infoimaging market,” Lewis said. “This relationship provides Kodak the opportunity to strengthen its position in the digital photography market.”
Based in Palo Alto, California, Kodak Venture’s goal is to identify and invest in early-stage companies that possess technologies of high disruptive power for Kodak and to create new companies based on Kodak’s intellectual property.
“Support from a global leader like the Eastman Kodak Company validates DataPlay’s position as the foremost emerging digital media solution,” said Rich Mohr, chief financial officer of DataPlay. “With this strategic investment from Kodak, DataPlay can more effectively execute on its strategy to be the predominant storage product in the digital camera market.”
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