Epson PictureMate Personal Photo Lab
Printing system: Inkjet
Nozzle array: 90 black nozzles, 450 color nozzles (5 colors x 90 nozzles)
Paper feeding: Auto sheet feeder (ASF) friction feed
Ink: Multicolor ink cartridge with six colors (black, cyan, magenta, yellow, red, blue)
External dimensions: 256 (W) x 154 (D) x 163 (H) mm when closed, not including handle
Weight: Approx. 2.7 kg
Engineered with female users in mind, the Epson PictureMate personal photo lab was a convenient and easy-to-use photo printer with innovative features and ground-breaking performance.
With a cute, compact design and a handle that made it easy to carry to any room, the PictureMate was at home in any part of the house. The groundbreaking product did not require a PC connection and was simple to operate. Making prints was simply a matter of inserting a compatible memory card directly into a slot on the printer and pressing the Print button.
The printer contained a newly developed set of pigment ink in six colors, providing gorgeous coloration while dramatically increasing image stability. This ensured that great photo prints could be hung up and given to friends without fear of fading.
The printer came with a variety of detailed settings accessible with the push of an on-panel button that made photo editing fun and easy. For example, users could automatically adjust and correct images, apply monochrome or sepia filters, or use Zoom Print to select, trim and enlarge any part of an image. The PictureMate also gave users the freedom to customize their photos with picture frames and even Disney characters that they downloaded to a PC and then saved on a memory card that plugged into the printer.
Story Behind the Creation
Hoping to encourage more women to print more photos, Epson formed "Team 8," a project team comprised entirely of women whose mission was to create a printer that would be easy for women to use. The development team emphasized ease of operation and a design that would appeal to women.
The PictureMate was planned and developed as a photo printer that could be used to quickly and easily enjoy photos anywhere in the home so that making prints would become a part of everyday life.
Reception and Market Impact
The Epson PictureMate personal photo lab triggered explosive growth in the market for compact printers designed specifically for use with digital cameras. The small size, cute design, simple operation, outstanding image quality, long-lasting pigment-ink prints, and handle for easy toting proved popular across a broad range of customers, not only women but families and seniors, as well. This product was the impetus for improvements in the features and performance of later direct-print photo printers.