Dscoop Indy 2024 showcases printing innovation and networking

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The Dead Pixels Society returned to the Dscoop for Dscoop Edge Indy 2024, at the Indiana Convention Center. The event, from March 24 -March 27, featured numerous educational sessions, General sessions with internationally known personalities, and a vendor showcase.

Andrew Laffoon, Gary Pageau and Guy Bibi

Among the photo-industry-specific activities were educational sessions. On Monday, March 25, “The Realities of AI in the Photo App World” session featured a conversation with Andrew Laffoon, of Mixbook, and Guy Bibi, global creative manager, HP, moderated by Gary Pageau, editor, the Dead Pixels Society.

Laffoon started the session by noting Mixbook’s objective, even from its founding 18 years ago, was always to enable creativity through AI.

“When we started the company 18 years ago, we thought even back then we could use AI to create photos,” said Lafoon. “The first version was automated books. And it was artificial and not quite intelligent.

“The lens we’re thinking about for AI, is how do we empower humans to be creative,” he added. “At the end of the day, I believe that every person has a creative spark. It manifests differently. But if you look throughout history, what’s enabled us to do more as tools are tool builders. And I think for Mixbook, the framework that we’re thinking about is ‘I don’t want to take away the authorship.’ I want to create tools that make it so that people who don’t think about themselves as being ‘creative’ to now actually achieve a creative result.”

Laffoon explained Mixbook’s intention is to break down inhibitors, using AI, to help users create better stories. Those inhibitors can include finding photographs across various services, choosing the best pictures, and arranging them in a pleasing manner. While the company has “toyed with” the idea of generative images, Laffoon says it doesn’t serve Mixbook’s market.

“You could imagine good use cases for that, like my son as an astronaut on a SpaceX rocket,” he said. “But did that happen? No, it’s fantastical. There’s a place for that, right? That’s going to be a market…So we’re trying to figure out how to supplement with something that is kind of in line with what was real and what happened.”

Guy Bibi demonstrated how new HP tools like SmartStream Designer can enable unique personalized products without disrupting production efficiencies, as well as sharing numerous resources printers can use to use Generative AI and other tools to create unique visuals. Bibi explained that, coming from the variable data world, the images themselves can be generated using scripts, meaning the every image in a workflow or campaign can be unique.

Bibi added the opportunities are nearly endless, especially in marketing.

“The ability to use images, and variable text [means] every one of them can feel something different,” said Bibi. “So you can tell a story and engage the consumers by telling them if you take the best picture, they can win something online and, when you connect it with E-commerce, you can do what I love to call a ‘constellation,’ right? If you connect all the dots, you create something new that no one has ever done before. And that’s your advantage. That is where the ROI comes from.”

Marie-Eve Lemieux, Mediaclip; Sima Toltzis Morad, HP; and David Haueter, Rise Above Research, share industry insights.

On Tuesday, March 26, several industry executives shared their views on “Photo Merchandising Trends and Opportunities,” highlighted by a data presentation by David Haueter of Rise Above Research, spoke about trends from the firm’s consumer research.

Overall, Haueter projects the growth to be flat for output products – in the categories surveyed – but that doesn’t take into account the future impact of AI – which is still unknown. In terms of image capture, the growth will be strong, with 1.8 trillion photos expected to be taken worldwide in 2024, growing to around 2.3 trillion by 2028. Smartphones account for over 90% of photos taken.

Personalized products without photos will be a major growth category, he added. These products have a personal touch but it’s with text and other art … or a combination. Four-in-1o respondents to the Rise Above Research Survey bought a personalized product that didn’t include a photo. Interestingly, young males were heavy users of this type of product.

For more insights into this report, readers are encouraged to directly contact David Haueter of Rise Above Research.

Marie-Eve Lemieux of Mediaclip (which also sponsored the session) presented some recent personalization trends the company has observed. She agreed the growing categories for personalized products included text and graphics, not necessarily photos. Sima Toltzis Morad, Global Commercial Market Development Manager, HP, added AI will enhance automation, will boost the entire market, especially for labor-intensive products like photobooks.

In this video, we talked with some imaging industry vendors, including Tracer, Mediaclip, Taopix, APS Imaging, and more.