Digital Innovations
Thinking Outside The Box car

Digital Innovations

LaserSoft Imaging's SilverFast 6.0 scanner software includes SRD (Smart Removal of Defects) that lets you fine-tune dust and scratch removal through its own control panel that lets you determine defect size and intensity for detection and correction.
Photos © 2002, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved

"Video Killed the Radio Star"--The first music video played on MTV

Picture this: You pick up a client in your newly cleaned car to drive them to lunch and discuss a big project that also means big bucks. As the client puts on her seat belt and settles into the passenger seat, you turn on your Sony Xplod MEX-5D1 (www.xplodsony.com) car audio system to play her favorite CD or listen to tunes from a local radio station. After just about the second note, she sits bolt upright and asks, "What are those pictures on your radio?"

Yup, ladies and germs, just an arm's length from your client, all of the very best of your portfolio images are being displayed on a small LCD screen accompanied by music. While you nonchalantly drive to lunch, this slide show is being broadcast from the car audio system...you get the picture. The new Sony Xplod audio system lets you play photographs and even video clips using a Sony Memory Stick--MagicGate only please (see Shutterbug, January 2003)--that's inserted behind the radio's foldout faceplate.

What sets 3D-Album apart from other album software is that it allows you to place your images within a virtual environment that compliments and enhances the photographs.

One of my American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association colleagues suggested I take a look at the Pioneer AVX-P7300DVD (www.pioneerelectronics.com), too. It provides an in-dash CD/DVD with pop-up 7" LCD screen--just like Business Class on a 777--that lets you display images much, much larger. Since the storage media is DVD, instead of the lower capacity Memory Stick, you can create presentations that mix video, sound, and your still images and be able to play them inside your car. All this coolness is not cheap. The Sony Xplod MEX-5D1 costs just short of $1000 and the Pioneer unit is $1850.

Plug-In Of The Month
When LaserSoft Imaging (www.silverfast.com) last updated its SilverFast scanner software, they added the useful NegaFix function that corrected color negative film based on specific emulsion types from Agfa, Fuji, Kodak, Konica, and other film companies. Version 6.0 not only includes NegaFix but tosses in so many new features it should have been called SilverFast 7.0. I tested the new plug-in with an Epson Expression 1680 flat-bed scanner with transparency adapter and Adobe Photoshop 7.0. Changes start with SRD (Smart Removal of Defects) that lets you perform dust and scratch removal through its own control panel that allows you to determine defect size and intensity for detection and correction. By using a simple before-and-after interface, GANE (Grain And Noise Elimination) lets you control the amount of grain in the scanned image. The Selective Color Correction (SCC) function and ACR (Adaptive Color Restoration) lets you bring back faded colors from old film or prints but can also be used to control oversaturated colors.

ColorByte's ImagePrint can eliminate the yellow pigment in Epson's UltraChrome inkset as well as provide accurate color profiles for all the Epson media. Its built-in Tint Picker lets you dial-in neutrality or produce almost any tint.

Sharp-eyed readers will, by now, have begun to notice some similarities to Applied Science Fiction's own scanner software for controlling grain and enhancing color, and indeed SilverFast 6.0 provides a way to add these functions to your own film or flat-bed scanner. But wait--as they say on TV--there's more. The plug-in, which for the first time is now a stand-alone application (on the same disc), includes a color cast removal tool that can eliminate problems caused by mixed light sources. There's also a selective Color to Gray feature that lets you tweak gray scale conversion of color images by controlling which shade of gray the color will be converted to. You gotta see it to believe how this works. All of the old good stuff is still there and the plug-in/application provides a three-part histogram (CMY) that shows the 16-bit color space work being done internally so that no scanner information is lost. LaserSoft's SilverFast 6.0 is compatible with Mac OS X (with Aqua interface), OS 9.2, and Microsoft Windows.

Sony's new Xplod audio system lets you play photographs and even video clips from an interchangeable Sony Memory stick--"MagicGate" only--that's inserted behind the radio's foldout faceplate.

Digital Albums With A Difference
There are many album programs available for Microsoft Windows, but the hands-down winner for ease of use, flexibility, and style is 3D-Album (www.3d-album.com). What sets this $39.95 program apart from the others is that it allows you to place all of your images within a virtual environment that compliments and enhances the photographs. The package includes 23 built-in album styles, but there are more than 30 available for free download from the company's web site. The program is so well designed that if you've ever used a mouse you already know how to use it.

Here's all you need to do: Select a folder that has images you want to appear in the album/presentation. I used a folder of JPEG files that were just 400 pixels high and under 30K in size, yet viewing the presentation on a 15" LCD monitor it looked amazingly good. The albums are built so fast you can click the Preview button and almost instantly compile and preview the presentation. This means it doesn't take long to compare those that work better than others with your specific collection of photographs. You control many of the variables within the parameters of the chosen interface, including how long each image is displayed and the kind of musical accompaniment. When you're satisfied with how the album looks, click Build to assemble the final presentation. Output options make it easy to distribute the finished album by CD or Internet upload, although some of the files with music and lots of photos might be a bit large for non-broadband use. Nevertheless, you can turn the finished album into HTML pages, a ZIP file, or self-expandable EXE file.

Pioneer's AVX-P7300DVD has a 7" LCD screen that lets you display your portfolio images much, much larger than the Sony Xplod unit.

You'll Wonder Where The Yellow Went
Epson's UltraChrome inkset is more neutral than their older Archival inkset, and ink jet printers, such as the Stylus Photo 2200, make excellent monochrome prints using all seven ink colors, producing prints with little color crossover and just a little metamerism when changing viewing conditions. Fine art photographers will appreciate that the longevity of these seven-color UltraChrome prints is about 80-100 years when using Epson's Smooth and Textured Fine Art Paper. But, and you knew there was a "but" didn't you? The main restriction on longevity is a yellow pigment that has 50 percent of the lightfastness of the yellow in Epson's Archival inkset. The UltraChrome yellow was developed to provide a greater color gamut, and experts, such as Royce Bair (www.inkjetart.com), agree that the change was worth the longevity tradeoff.

If you want to increase longevity and make more natural prints, you can eliminate yellow when printing gray scale images and produce an image with the longevity that equals the original Archival ink (up to 200+ years). ImagePrint (www.colorbytesoftware.com) eliminates the yellow pigment, provides accurate color profiles for Epson media, and its built-in Tint Picker lets you dial-in neutrality or produce almost any tint. When making monochrome prints, ImagePrint has the ability to print using only the Black Photo (or Matte) and Light Black inks, or it can print with all colors except the yellow, dark cyan, and dark magenta (three colors that cause the most metamerism). ImagePrint works with Mac OS 9.x and Windows computers and Inkjetart.com's price is $495 for printers such as the Epson 2200 with higher prices for large format printers. (ColorByte expects to have a free OS X upgrade available by the time you read this.)

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COMMENTS
mukul's picture

This is an amazing concept and it is really amazing to find out that car technology has moved so far. So basically we are getting more out of our cars. When new cars are launched in the market, we feel tempted to buy these new ones in the market and and sell our old car, but instead of selling old car it would be better to donate car to charity.

leonardo85's picture

Such advanced technologies are bound to impress everyone. We could get better driving experience with such technology. But you should always keep it well maintained otherwise you would feel helpless when it breaks down in the middle of the journey.

mukul's picture

I heard about the new Sony Xplod MEX-5D1 during my car shipment but couldn’t afford it as I was short of money at that time since this new car drained out my whole pocket. Anyways, I am planning to install this device into my car and would like have suggestion from you guys whether there is any updated version of this or not.

crazymeme's picture

Thank you for providing this great and useful post! I've recently bought a new car and I installed a Sony audio system. I had a problem vehicle few months ago and I decided to donate it.

crazymeme's picture

I appreciate a lot this quality post as it provide useful information.My father has bought a beautiful car from Ford New Jersey and I wanted to make him a surprise and I bought an advanced technology car audio system that provides a great sound and has digital control.

crazymeme's picture

My best friend has recently recommended me this website and I consider it to be very useful.I had a lot of truck driving jobs in Tucson AZ and and this is how born my passion of cars.For three years I am working as a photographer and I already have many albums with old cars.

crazymeme's picture

I like cars a lot especially those from the 80's.I have four old cars in my garage and I've recently bought another one from John Carson DDS.I am very proud of my cars and I took a lot of photos with it.Recently I used one of my cars in order to create a commercial.

mukul's picture

This is really a great feature and it could really make things easier for us, this is a lot more hassle free process, in fact there should be some more applications like this and for teens there should be something that ensure their safety.

crazymeme's picture

Few months ago I took my driving license and yesterday was my birthday and my parents bought me a very nice car from Handy GMC. I am so happy about that and I already drove it. Now I am thinking to save money and to buy a professional car audio system as I want to impress my friends.

crazymeme's picture

I've recently visited a car showroom and I seen a great Chevrolet in NJ. It has some great accessories and also a Sony car audio system that has some awesome features.

crazymeme's picture

This is a great and interesting post! I've just bought an Audi from diecast model cars at PlanBSales.com and my sister gave me a Sony Xplod audio system. It is great and it has an awesome sound.

Huges's picture

Maintenance is a good habit to keep a durable product. As car is a durable product, its maintenance is also required. So keep regular changing to make a thing alive. It adds value to that product. Review of covers is a part of such maintenance. In a competitive market product's quality is very important as customer have many choices.
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fentonparker210's picture

Nice concept car with some new things, now-a-days there are many type of cars run in the road with different models. Before use a car, always think about the maintenance and care properly, otherwise it will create problem in the future.
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john78's picture

There are no. of developments in car in automobile sector. Every year the company owner & the mechanics are making experiment in the field of digital innovation. It means cars are designed on basis of digital techniques. Now a days the new cars are coming with fully loaded techniques. There are tap recorder, LCD monitors, Wireless radios, CD/DVD players etc. This modern technique gives the driver cum Car passenger full entertainment. Both the users can feel comfortable when inside the car. The modern system is developed according to provide relaxation. Cars should maintained properly to run the modern system effectively for long time.
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AllabotPathiwk's picture

Its a nice innovation. Car marketing is a highly competitive ground where automobile sectors are inventing new things based on latest technology, Because its technique to exist in the competitive market. Users should be that much careful towards the technologies because they need to maintain their cars at that level and match up with the latest technology. BMW repair Pompano Beach, FL

Isabela Davies's picture

Now Technology is taking a vital place in all sectors so as to in Automotive sector. Many new innovations are introducing and giving us smart and luxury drive in our car like Mercedes.Audi, Porsche,Land rover etc. So whenever we are planning to go for give our dream car into servicing then we should select the best service point for it.As am discussing about Land rover car, it has special benefit in fuel efficiency if we are taking proper care, so need to do engine oil change and oil maintenance in a proper way.
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