Updated: Vendor responses below
New file format could pose challenge to photo retailers
With the debut of new iPhone 8 models and a VR-driven iPhone X, Apple has more than doubled-down on its smartphone platform as an imaging device. Boasting 12MP cameras and a host of new portrait modes, all three new iPhones promise new photo frontiers.
But, when it comes to printing those newfangled photos, could retailers be running into a problem? With the launch of OS 11 on Sept. 19, a new default image format will be introduced: High Efficiency File Format or HEIF. This format, developed by the MPEG group, offers half the size of JPEG files, with support for advanced functions like computational photography, cinema graphs and meta data interchange. HEIF is actually more of a container for image data, which can include loss and lossless stills, image sequences (Live Photos), multiple exposures, video, and other information. The format encodes data using the same HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) standard used by H265 video.
For technical information about HEIF, click here.
Plug and pray?
So, the question is, what’s going to happen when Suzy or Sammy Snapshot take their newly updated iPhone into their local friendly photo retailer, plug their phone into the lightning cable connected the kiosk and… what will happen? Who knows? Will kiosks be able natively recognize image files? Apparently, OS 11 will automatically convert images shared from an iPhone via message, email, etc., according to this article.
We’ve heard some kiosk vendors and site providers are preparing for HEIF. We’ll keep this article updated with news as we receive regarding specific vendors.