As much as Photokina is about cameras, lenses and accessories, camera companies are certainly not limited to these things where the trade show is concerned. Leica proved that today with their new online platform, Leica Fotopark.
This new endeavor marks Leica’s first step outside its long-standing business model of manufacturing physical products. Fotopark’s goal, boiled down in to one simple concept, is to provide a robust platform for photographers of all kinds to discover, exchange, organize and create.
Fotopark currently in development, but Leica is offering the ability to pre-register and be one of the first to try it out. The marketing material shared on the Fotopark website is somewhat vague, but it seems to be an all-in-one solution that combines a photo-sharing network, a photo archival cloud solution, and an online print-house into a single package.
Split into four teaser categories — discover, exchange, organize and create — each category looks to be a pillar of the upcoming platform.
Discover is based around finding the work of other photographers. This hints at a hopefully robust search platform for finding inspirational work, but also points at the ability to ‘follow’ other photographers, giving the platform an unexpected social aspect.
In addition to following individual photographers, Fotopark will also allow you to subscribe to certain collections of work, such as street photography, portraits, etc.
Exchange elaborates on the social aspect of Fotopark, offering the ability to find other photographers, make new contacts and share your images through social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.
Organize points to Fotopark’s storage platform. You’ll be able to upload through the browser, through third-party clients, Dropbox import and even the still-in-development Fotopark iOS app.
As the name implies, you’ll also be able to organize your library by assigning keywords and breaking photos into individual projects and categories. And if security is a concern, the platform does allow you to decide who can and can’t see your images.
Finally, Create is where things get most interesting. While details haven’t been shared yet, we do know that Fotopark will let you (and others) purchase products straight through the service.
The website specifically teases fine art prints and an ‘extensive’ selection of frames, but more options might become available as Fotopark becomes a reality.
The timeline on the platform isn’t set in stone, but Leica says the print service is set to go live ‘pre-Christmas’ in Europe, with a further rollout of the services (both geographically and functionally) to follow.
Once Fotopark is live and up for the world to use, registrants will receive a free account with 10GB of storage, with larger data volumes ‘at reasonable prices’ said to arrive ‘at a later date’.
To find out more or pre-register for the service, head over to the Fotopark sign-up page by clicking here.