Applied Science Fiction
Digital Dry Film Process
by Rick Smith (December 9, 2000)
With a name like Applied Science Fiction, you have to create cutting edge technologies and they do. They have created a technology that can produce digital images from exposed, UNDEVELOPED film - a truly 21st Century concept.
In a process that takes about seven minutes per roll, micro-amounts of a proprietary developing agent are applied to the exposed, undeveloped film as it is being fed through their image-capture machine. This environmentally friendly digital dry film process (DDFP) requires no water, generates no hazardous waste and makes complete silver recovery from the film possible. Next, a digital record of each image is captured. Color and exposure settings are established on a pixel-by-pixel basis for the entire image. Since the output data is pure digital they can be routed to multiple destinations, including the Web, printers, file servers, hard drives or anywhere digital data can be stored. All without any plumbing!
Applied Science Fiction’s “film in, bits out” technology takes advantage of the high quality film images, produced by traditional cameras, and allows them to function more like digital cameras. Produced images can be saved in any image file format, just like digital cameras. Now consumers can more easily “go digital” without having to buy new cameras.
Unfortunately, this DDFP develops the film directly to a digital format so no film negatives are generated and if needed would have to be created by outputting the digital record to a film recorder. Since most consumers probably prefer a CD of images to an envelope of negatives, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Applied Science Fiction’s DDFP technology processes both 35mm and Advanced Photo System (APS) film formats. It is expected to be available in photo kiosks and minilabs, worldwide, in the fourth quarter of 2001.
2002 Update: After a delay, this technology is being tested in the marketplace during the summer of 2002.
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.