Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Optix, Pulse get the Swiss Kiss

The Optix screen calibrator and the Pulse spectro had their death warrants read out at the Xrite press conference at Photokina this afternoon, Tom Vacchiano presiding. They will live in memory, starting December. Both of these products were found guilty of minority market share when compared to their GMB counterparts, EyeOne and Eyeone Pro. Goodbye Optix, you were accurate, you will be missed.

Profile Maker Pro and Monaco Profiler will be marketed side by side for now, as they each enjoy market dominance in their geographic sectors. They will in due course be merged into a single software package embodying switchable rendering engines. The DTP-70 seems alive for now, but I wouldn't bet on its long-term survival once Isis invades the X-Y scanning spectro ecological niche.

On the positive hand, it looks like the Swiss team is now finalizing the reverse takeover of Xrite with efficiency and expediency. They will be integrating ex-Gretag's darling EyeOne spectro head technology in their own and third-party hardware every chance they get. The annnounced deal with HP for the Z-series Designjets with an integrated spectro might just be the tip of the iceberg - I can sense Epson sniffing round the edges. Moreover, whispers say they are developing a new product for the prosumer photo market. I don't enjoy seeing the Optix and Pulse hit the dust; but I can discern positive momentum building here - if I were an Xrite stockholder I'd feel bullish about hardware sales.

We'll leave the discussion of the side-effects of Windows Color System on the color software industry as an exercise to the reader, who will not forget to factor in Adobe's desire to offer an OS-agnostic platform for its graphics tools.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

The OPTIX was a very, very good instrument but I think X-Rite did the right thing with respect to PULSE. The EyeOne is vastly more capable as a multi-tasker, has been OEM'ed a heck of a lot, has a lot of upgradablity (i0). A good move but a difficult one I'm sure.