Kodak Advantix Film TV Television Commercial from 1997
Eastman Kodak Company, commonly referred to as “Kodak”, is an American technology company that produces imaging products with its historic basis on photography. The company is headquartered in Rochester, New York and is incorporated in New Jersey. Kodak provides packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services for businesses around the world. Its main business segments are Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. It is best known for photographic film products.
Kodak was founded by George Eastman and Henry A. Strong on September 4, 1888. During most of the 20th century, Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film. The company’s ubiquity was such that its “Kodak moment” tagline entered the common lexicon to describe a personal event that was demanded to be recorded for posterity. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s, as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning to digital photography. As a part of a turnaround strategy, Kodak began to focus on digital photography and digital printing, and attempted to generate revenues through aggressive patent litigation.
In January 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In February 2012, Kodak announced that it would stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames and focus on the corporate digital imaging market. In August 2012, Kodak announced its intention to sell its photographic film, commercial scanners and kiosk operations, as a measure to emerge from bankruptcy, but not its motion picture film operations. In January 2013, the Court approved financing for Kodak to emerge from bankruptcy by mid 2013. Kodak sold many of its patents for approximately 5,000,000 to a group of companies (including Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe Systems and HTC) under the names Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation. On September 3, 2013, the company emerged from bankruptcy having shed its large legacy liabilities and exited several businesses. Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging are now part of Kodak Alaris, a separate company owned by the UK-based Kodak Pension Plan. On March 12, 2014, it announced that the board of directors elected Jeffrey J. Clarke as chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors.
Advanced Photo System (APS) is a now discontinued film format for still photography first produced in 1996. It was marketed by Eastman Kodak under the brand name Advantix, by FujiFilm under the name Nexia, by Agfa under the name Futura and by Konica as Centuria.
A major distinction of APS film was the ability to record information other than the image. This information exchange was most commonly used for print aspect ratio, but could also be used to record the date and time that the photograph was taken, store a caption, and record exposure data such as shutter speed and aperture setting. This information could be read by the photo printing equipment to determine the print aspect ratio, print information on the back (or, rarely, the front) of the photograph, or to improve print quality.
Two methods for storing information on the film were employed: “magnetic IX” and “optical IX”. Optical IX was employed on less expensive cameras and disposable cameras, and employed a light source to expose a small section of the film, outside of the image negative area. This method was limited to determining the print aspect ratio of the finished print.
Magnetic IX was used in the more expensive cameras and allowed for more information exchange. Most cameras with magnetic IX automatically recorded the exposure date and time on the magnetic layer, with more advanced models allowing the user to specify a predetermined caption to be printed on the photo or record the exposure settings, as well as determine print aspect ratio. Magnetic IX caused some problems for photo processors, who found their magnetic reading heads had to be cleaned frequently, or that their equipment’s ability to print this information was limited.