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Kodak Announces Electronic Tools For Information

May 29, 1985

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Eastman Kodak Co. announced on Wednesday a pair of tools to help office workers manage information electronically, calling them ″a major thrust into the office-automation market.″

Kodak introduced the Kodak Ektaprint electronic publishing system, or KEEPS, as its first entry into office publishing, a market it said is expected to grow to $10 billion by 1989.

The company also revealed details about its previously announced Kodak Image Management System. KIMS, it says, is the first system capable of electronically retrieving, scanning and transmitting information that is stored on microfilm.

KEEPS will sell ″in the $50,000 range″ in its basic configuration and be available by the end of 1985, a Kodak news release said. KIMS, in a typical six-work station configuration, will cost about $450,000 and be widely available in 1986.

Kodak is targeting office automation as a new source of profits as it faces slowing growth in its traditional businesses of photography and chemicals.

The KEEPS office-publishing system enables an operator to create a document on a computer screen, merging photographs and artwork with text and headlines, and then reproduce it on a laser printer.

Lawrence J. Matteson, a Kodak group vice president, said KEEPS is more powerful than the document-creating functions of personal computers, though not as complex as the systems used by, say, newspaper layout editors. KEEPS is intended for the in-house publishing needs of Fortune 500 companies, Kodak said.

The biggest news on KIMS, the microfilm-handling system, is the involvement of Digital Equipment Corp., the nation’s second-largest computer company, which will provide technology for it.

The Kodak Image Management System is intended for organizations that store huge quantities of information on microfilm, such as insurance companies and government agencies. It enables a worker sitting at a terminal to retrieve an image that is stored somewhere else on microfilm and make notes about it on the screen.

The key to the system is an ″autoloader,″ which works like an old- fashioned jukebox to choose the right reel of microfilm, put it in the scanner and find the right frame to be scanned.

The system eventually will be able to work with information stored on magnetic disks and optical disks, Matteson said.

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