As Senior Interaction Designer I was a contributed to The Kodachrome Project, a pre-commericaliazation effort to save Kodak before declaring bankruptcy. A small grass-roots team of Kodak scientists and designers were trying to address four key problems:
- Kodak had legendary brand recognition, yet younger consumers had little to no awareness of the ‘Kodak Moment’.
- Kodak was spending an large sum of money on third party technologies out of Asia; technologies that were much cheaper and potentially free via Google.
- Kodak had adopted a culture of litigation verse innovation in the 2000s
- Kodak executives would not listen to your innovations unless the word “print” was used in the pitch.
Clearly, Kodak had many other issues, but this small team aspired to continue in the Kodak tradition of inventing revolutionary technologies e.g. the digital camera, “like it”, motion capture, LED, RGB, etc. In 2010-2011, our goal was to revive the legendary Kodak brand and bring Kodachrome back for a new generation of consumers.
No, we had no business manufacturing Kodachrome film, but we developed nearly a dozen new photo-centered services and products that integrated the Kodak brand and image science technologies into the Google Chrome browser, re-envisioning what Kodachrome means today.
Our deliverables took the form of patent applications, some took the form of wireframes and comps. Many of them all had printing components, each product fulfilled a particular need across an array of user contexts and unique needs. For example, we used Google natural language processing to create Kodak photo books or MemoryBooks that captures Kodak Moments for past and future generations. These proof-of-concept MemoryBooks potentialy represent the last true ‘Kodak Moment’.
Memories Books use Google Natural Language Processing to easily create both digital and physical keepsakes that preserve the “Kodak Moment” for future reliving. These books may look like an ordinary photo book, but the interface used to create them was simply to talk about your photos. The end of each book had a QR code linked to the voice of the person who spoke about the photograph. Not only does the book capture the memory via text and photo, but also it captures the sound of a loved ones voice for generations to come.
Kodak Pulse Channel
Kodak Pulse Channel was designed to aggregate, share and reminisce family photography collections through the close-knit integration of camera, TV, mobile and tablet devices and services. The project was an exercise between user interface paradigms shifting and reacting to users’ surfing vs searching between graphic user interfaces displaying on TV vs tablet.
Unfortunately, we were about a decade too late. Kodak was driven off the cliff and declared bankruptcy in 2012. Ironically, Google ended up owning our patents and patent applications through a joint venture with several other silicon valley companies.