Category Archives: Photo kiosk

Photo Kiosk Feature – Is there a future in photo?

Photo Kiosks

While the drugstore photo kiosk may be a mature sector, new developments in imaging technology promise to open the door to new opportunities.

By Richard Slawsky contributor

It seems like it was just yesterday that nearly every grocery store and strip mall featured a drive-up Fotomat film processing shop in the parking lot. Amateur photographers would drive up to the window, drop off their film or disposable camera, and stop back a few days later to pick up their pack of prints.

With the advent of digital photography, though, those shops quickly disappeared, with photo processing services moving inside the store to serve as a customer draw. In 1980 there were more than 4,000 Fotomat stores around the United States; today not a single one remains. Digital cameras began outselling film cameras in 2003, and the trend has continued ever since. Kodak stopped selling film cameras in 2004, and Nikon followed suite in 2006. What was probably the final nail in the film coffin came in 2012, when Kodak declared bankruptcy.

The move to digital did, though, open up opportunities for photo development kiosks as the customer touchpoint for photo processing services. The premise was that shoppers would bring in their camera’s memory card, insert it into the kiosk and select the number and size of the photos they’d like printed. And of course, do a bit of shopping while they waited for their photos to be ready.

While the veracity of the numbers is debatable, one of the many research reports that predict trends in the kiosk industry forecasts the size of the global photo kiosk market in 2017 will total $1.5 billion. Another one forecasts the market will total $1.9 billion by 2020, so apparently some amount of growth is likely.

Does that mean kiosk manufacturers should consider adding photo kiosks to their portfolio? While that depends on the strengths and expertise of a particular company, the short answer is probably not. The capital investment required to make a go of photo kiosks is so large that it’s likely beyond the capabilities of all but the most established companies, and the multitude of changes occurring in the imaging industry means the direction of the market isn’t yet clear.

Following the trail

To get a sense of where the photo industry is going and what the opportunities for kiosk deployers might be, it helps to have a sense of where it’s been.

From the early 1960s, when Kodak first introduced its inexpensive Instamatic camera, on through the 1990s, most households likely owned a single camera or bought disposable cameras one at a time, processing two or three rolls of film a year. It wasn’t unusual to find a disposable camera with four or five shots left on it in the bottom of a drawer, snap off those photos and drop them off for processing with little or no recollection of what was on the earlier shots.

“The photo finishers used to joke they’d get a roll of film and there was a Christmas tree on each end,” said Gary Pageau, who formerly as an executive and communication consultant with the now-defunct industry trade group the Photo Marketing Association. At its peak, the annual PMA trade in Las Vegas boasted more than 50,000 attendees, but industry changes prompted a scheduling change in 2012 to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show. In 2016, the PMA merged with the Photo Imaging Manufacturers and Distributors organization to form the Imaging Alliance.

“People in those days used to take pictures more for memories,” Pageau said. “And very few pictures were enlarged.”

Cameras were first paired with mobile phones in 2000, and today nearly everyone has a mobile phone camera in their pocket. In most cases, those cameras pack a resolution greater than the best film cameras.

And that has led to a staggering increase in the number of photos taken each year. Technology website TechCrunch estimates there will be 1.2 trillion photos taken around the world in 2017, nearly 14 times the 86 billion photos the news site Buzzfeed estimates were taken in 2000.

Although that would seem like a jackpot for the photo processing industry, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Most photos aren’t ever printed, and photo paper is only one of several choices of media on which to print images.

“Metal prints are big right now, canvas prints are big and paper prints in weird sizes like square prints,” Pageau said.

“Printing on clothing, printing on fleece, throws and blankets and things like that are popular,” he said. “Now, when they do print pictures, people usually have a specific purpose in mind.”

Another change affecting the photography world is the advent of smartphones and wireless connectivity in the mid-to-late 2000s. Although there was a brief period where an in-store kiosk was the method of choice for choosing images to be printed, that has been supplanted by websites and apps. If a store does offer a photo kiosk, customers expect to be able to wirelessly transfer images from phone to kiosk.

And many customers are no longer expecting to have their prints ready in an hour or less.

“Although instant printing used to be a big thing, many people today really don’t expect to get their output right away,” Pageau said. “They understand that if you’re making a print on metal or canvas that it’s going to take a while; it may have to be shipped out or whatever.”

So while 10 years ago it may have been cost effective for a retailer to invest $250,000 or more in an in-store photo lab, today that may not be as worthwhile. While in the early days of digital photography that photo lab might have guaranteed two customer visits – one to drop off and one to pick up – today those customers may not even set foot in a store to have their images printed.

So where are things headed?

Obviously, the photo kiosk market faces stiff competition. Although there are still plenty of kiosks in the marketplace, anyone thinking about entering the market is likely to face some challenges.

“A new photo kiosk is a beautiful thing, but sadly the market is full of old photo kiosks,” said Murray Macdonald, president and chief technology officer at Vancouver-based, which specializes in creating customer-facing applications, imaging infrastructure and management systems for SMEs, global multinationals and Fortune 500 clients.

“Retailers today don’t have the capex to change that,” Macdonald said. “They’re just kind of maintaining what they have.”

Consolidation in the retail and pharmacy sectors has left many companies with collections of disparate kiosk solutions, making it difficult to introduce new equipment and having it play well with legacy systems. And of course, kiosks have become just one of several channels by which customers get their images to the lab.

“Retailers today need a Web solution and a mobile app along with a kiosk,” Macdonald said. “So retailers really need three customer-facing interfaces and then the backend stuff. A kiosk is really just one of those three today. You’ve got to kind of stitch all that together as a retailer or buy it from a provider who can give you all those pieces.”

In addition, online photo processing sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish, where customers upload their photos to a website and have the printed images shipped to their homes, are gaining in popularity and market share. Shutterfly, for example, serviced 10.1 million customers in 2016, a 4 percent increase over the previous year.

Still, that doesn’t mean that kiosks as part of a photo solution are a dying breed.

“We’ve been surprised by how strong the kiosks are, actually,” Macdonald said. “We’ve actually seen growth on ins store purchasing for certain types of products and depending on the retailer. “

A host of new technological developments promise to crack open new opportunities for both the kiosk industry and the imaging industry as well.

“I’m very excited right now about both industries,” Macdonald said.

“There is a lot of stuff happening right now,” he said. “Things like 3D printing and depth cameras are going to bring on a whole new rash of applications.”

Depth cameras, or range imaging time-of-flight cameras, can sense the time that it takes light to return from objects in a photograph. The camera takes that information and combines it with video data to create 3D images, enabling it to calculate the measurements of a room or remove or overlay 3D objects or backgrounds from an image.

“I think there’s a market for novelty kiosks and mobile applications that do fun stuff with people and their photos,” Macdonald said. “That will all be based on new types of cameras and some of the other new products coming on the market.”

Other new technologies promising to bring change to the industries include some that Macdonald’s company is developing, including artificial intelligence that can expand the size of an image while actually improving resolution. Potential applications include taking a 4” by 6” image and blowing it up for a large wall canvas.

“We can take your image and not just scale it up, but actually synthesize the detail that’s missing at that resolution,” Macdonald said. “The results are spectacular.”


Kiosk Research – Photo kiosk market report ReportsnReports

Kiosk Research Reports  – Photo Kiosk Market Worth $1.5 Billion by 2019

Retail Stores Set to Account for 51% of the Total Market Share


The latest report from India research mills covers Photo Kiosks.  The market for photos has certainly grown and is growing. The means to merchandise them to the general public from retail locations has taken on new ways though.

Walmart Photo Printing kiosk – Walmart Pulling Out

Walmart Photo Kiosk Exit

The end of an era.  Appears Walmart has decided to pull out of the photo print kiosk business.  Kroger did this about 12 months ago. This is a picture from a relatively new Walmart located right near Boulder, Colorado.

Walmart Photo printing kiosk

More Photo Kiosk News




With WallPixi, Pixilated looks to spread photo kiosks that anyone can use – Baltimore

Photo Kiosk AppPhoto kiosk app

The devices are starting to showing up at bars and coworking spaces. It’s an early vessel for Pixilated’s photo-marketing software.


Very small photo kiosk much like a price scanner in stores.

Photo Kiosks – Generation Next Acquires Print Mates™

Generation Next Franchise Brands, Inc. Acquires Print Mates™, Expanding Company’s Unattended Retail Portfolio

photo kiosk printmates
Click photo kiosk image to expand to larger view

SAN DIEGO, CA, April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NEWMEDIAWIRE – Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCQB: VEND) announced today that it has reached terms to acquire the assets of Print Mates, LLC, a small team of entrepreneurs, software engineers, and photography professionals in San Diego that are on a mission to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone and into your hand” with the Print Mates™ Kiosk.

Nick Yates, CEO of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, said that the Print Mates assets will be held by a wholly owned subsidiary of Generation Next which will operate separately with its own facilities, staff, and resources. “It is extremely important to us that Print Mates, or any acquisition, is mature enough and has the right team, product and supply chain to operate independently, as a wholly-owned but separate subsidiary. For us, anything less would have been a non-starter,” Yates said, noting that the nationwide rollout of the company’s flagship unattended franchising concept, Reis & Irvy’s, has both his and Generation Next’s “undivided attention.”

“Print Mates™ is a turn-key subsidiary for us.  The team, facilities, manufacturing and product fulfillment; everything is in place. The Print Mates™ Kiosk perfectly complements our product portfolio, and is ready to ship. The timing of the acquisition was designed to allow us to be first to market with a complementary unattended retail concept that is even more autonomous than our flagship Reis & Irvy’s kiosks, requiring only about 30 minutes per month in human maintenance,” Yates said. “The ultimate goal however is to own and operate thousands of these replicating the Redbox/Coinstar model and the team at Print Mates has already established relationships and tests with the country’s largest retail, convenience and grocery chains.

Generation Next is assuming the liabilities of Print Mates, LLC in exchange for the assets. There is no cash consideration being paid by Generation Next to Print Mates or any of its members. The assets acquired include five patent applications, complete engineering documents for the kiosk, customer contracts, supplier agreements, intellectual property, and proprietary software. A contract with a Canadian licensee with a commitment to purchase $7,000,000 of Print Mates Kiosks over a 5-year term is part of the assets acquired by Generation Next. The liabilities assumed by Generation Next net of kiosk inventory value are approximately $300,000.

An Unfulfilled Demand in a Billion Dollar Industry

Due in large part to consumers’ adoption of the smartphone, at least 1.5 trillion photos are estimated to have been captured in 2018. Predictions to 2022 continue to show a compounded annual growth (CAGR) in that figure of greater than 10 percent, so that by 2022 the number of photos captured annually will grow to over 2.3 trillion.  Print Mates™ is an innovative new way to monetize consumers’ craze for the phone camera.

Print Mates™ unattended kiosks are designed to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone into your hand,” while creating a low-to-no maintenance, extremely high margin business opportunity in unattended retail for entrepreneurs and retailers.  Recent consumer research reports show that consumers in every age group – from tweens to Millennials; from Generation X to Baby Boomers – still desire to preserve their most cherished memories in high-quality photo prints. But until now, professional-quality, third party services that turned digital photos into prints were either too inconvenient, too slow, or too expensive for today’s consumer.

Print Mates™ easy-to-use, patented touchscreen kiosks are promising to close the loop on the consumer photo lifecycle, as well as drive much-needed foot traffic to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses ranging from supermarkets, grocery and drug stores to big box retailers, shopping malls, family fun centers, convenience stores, hotels, airports, and more.     The Print Mates™ Kiosks put reliable and quality photo printing at customers’ fingertips while allowing independent operators and business owners to earn a very high margin from each sale. Customers love using the Print Mates™ Kiosk because they can instantly, easily and cost-effectively print high-quality photos directly from their smartphones or through their favorite social media (Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Dropbox, and Flickr) photo sharing, or cloud storage accounts in six different sizes of prints in just seconds.

Consumers can also conveniently order decor and other photo products, gifts and accessories ranging from frames, picture books, posters, jumbo-sized prints, and fridge magnets to beautiful canvas and wood prints and have them conveniently shipped to their home with just a few taps. A soon-to-be-released software update will also add an option for passport photos, a product many retailers are asked for daily.

“The team at Print Mates is solving another problem with a simple, unattended retail kiosk solution,” Yates said. “We all have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos stuck in our cell phones and stored on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. The only reason most of us don’t print them is because we don’t have a convenient way to do so, staring us in the face,” Yates continued. “Print Mates kiosks can be placed in any number of location categories, from grocery chains to hotels and big box retailers, just to name a few.  And the kiosks earn extremely high margins on each sale with some products on the kiosks’ menu selling for as much as $125 dollars. The team at Print Mates has secured agreements to test the kiosks in some of the largest grocery, convenience and big box retail chains across the U.S., representing tens of thousands of potential locations, and our plan is to provide Generation Next, our shareholders, and our franchisees the exclusive opportunity to own, operate and share in the revenue provided by this extraordinary product,” Yates concluded.

Print Mates™ location partners will be supported by a unique marketing program that leverages Google Business to drive consumers in real time directly to their machines whenever they need to quickly and conveniently print their photos.  If a customer types “photo printing” in to the google search engine, it will point them to the closest Print Mates retailer. The strategy will be paired with a national regional marketing program to create awareness of the Print Mates™ brand.

Item 404 of Regulation S-K requires disclosure of any transaction over $120,000 in which the Company is a participant and any related person has a direct or indirect material interest. “Related persons” include directors, nominees, executive officers, five percent shareholders and their immediate family members. The present acquisition of the assets of Print Mates, LLC is a related party transaction as the sole member of Print Mates, LLC, Franklyn Yates, is an immediate family member (Brother) of Nicholas Yates, the CEO and Chairman of Generation Next Franchise Brands, Inc. The transaction has been duly authorized by the Board of Directors of the Company who have been informed of the related party interest.

Generation NEXT Website:

About Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc.

Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc., based in San Diego, California, is a publicly traded company on the OTC Markets trading under the symbol OTCBB: VEND. Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. is parent company to Reis and Irvy’s Inc, 19 Degrees Corporate Service LLC and Print

About Print Mates

Print Mates™ was formed by a team of entrepreneurs, engineers, and photography professionals in San Diego that are on a mission to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone and into your hand” with the Print Mates™ Kiosk – and creating a golden opportunity for retailers in the process.

Print Mates’™ easy-to-use, patented touchscreen kiosks are promising to close the loop on the consumer photo lifecycle, as well as drive much-needed foot traffic to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses ranging from supermarkets, grocery and drug stores to big box retailers, shopping malls, family fun centers, hotels, airports and more.

The company began a nationwide expansion in 2019 by offering retailers, business owners and forward-thinking retailers across the country an opportunity to own a piece of an emerging multi billion-dollar industry.

Print Mates™ Kiosks and ever-expanding product line of photographic decor, gifts, prints and accessories are proudly Made in the

About Reis & Irvy’s, Inc.

Reis & Irvy’s, Inc. is a subsidiary franchise concept of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (VEND). Launched in early 2016, the revolutionary Reis & Irvy’s Vending Robot serves seven different flavors of frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbets and gelatos, a choice of up to six custom toppings, and to customers within 60 seconds or less at the point of sale. The unique franchise opportunity has since established itself as a high-demand product and currently showcases a franchise network both domestically as well as internationally.