Market: AI and print were a dream team long before ChatGPT

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Artificial intelligence has been the dominant topic across all industries for almost two years. But AI itself is not new. Even in the printing industry, there were business models based on artificial intelligence long before ChatGPT. One example of this was the Dutch company “Resnap”, which first used classic algorithms and later AI models to revolutionize photo book production. At the Online Print Symposium, Thomas Beguin, one of the three founders, spoke about this – and how he wants to once again shake up the industry with his new company IXXI.

“There is one thing you need to be successful with print – and to grow”, Thomas Beguin, Co-CEO of IXXI and this year’s speaker at the Online Print Symposium in Munich, is convinced of, “and that is innovation”. “With innovation, print is not dead, rather it is a huge opportunity”.

At least this was the opportunity that Beguin and his co-founders Erik-Jan Schreurs and Luc Hendriks saw in the early 2010s when they founded “Resnap”. The market for photo products was growing, albeit relatively slowly and not at the same pace as the number of photos taken. Here the curve was exponential. So why the difference?

“Because with the increasing number of photos being taken, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to pick out the best ones and create photo products from them,” explained Thomas Beguin. The idea of creating photo books in an instant – or rather, having them created – therefore seemed to be the ideal way for him and his two business partners to turn the market upside down and tackle a widespread, genuine problem. First as a classic algorithm that automatically creates photo books based on the likes and comments on the pictures uploaded to social media profiles – and shortly afterwards based on AI models and a neural network that helps to select and classify the best photos and thus also enables the creation of a photo book in no time at all.

Classifying images using AI…

The AI behind “Resnap” did not simply select photos based on a simple count of likes – Thomas Beguin’s team developed a neural network, an artificial intelligence, which classifies the submitted images on the basis of a variety of relevant data, thereby shaking up the established market for photo products. “Resnap” classifies the input images based on EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) photo data, which provides information such as the date, time or location the photo was taken, but also on the basis of intelligent recognition software with regard to the objects depicted or the quality – as well as on the basis of facial recognition and the emotions in the face. This gives each image a kind of “emotional value”, allowing the selection to be automated.

…and create photo books in seconds

Resnap’s photo book software was the first self-learning AI image selection technology to be used in an automated photo book generator. “Reducing the average time it takes to create a photo book from hours to a few minutes has completely transformed the market,” he said at the OPS. But that’s not all: order values, i.e. book volumes, have also gone up. “Because it makes no difference whether it’s a 24-page photo book or a 70-page photo book,” says Beguin, “both take the same amount of time, people take no extra effort and order thicker and more books.” It is also interesting to note that new users of the software in the first few months were mainly people who had never created a photo book before. According to Beguin, their share was almost 50% – moreover, it was mainly older generations who used the automated photo book creation.

“Resnap” is followed by IXXI

In 2017, Thomas Beguin and his two business partners sold the company to the albelli-Photobox Group, now storio group. In the meantime, the three have embarked on a new project, this time of a more physical nature: with IXXI, they want to disrupt the market for photo products once again. This is a patented, modular system for decorating walls based on a tile system that allows consumers to customize their interiors. They can use their own photos or licensed artwork and have the option to make the tiles as large as they want and easily replace them if necessary.

Thomas Beguin sees this as a design object made from individual photos that is intended to expand the photo market. With IXXI, he is following the trend towards personalization, which is particularly appealing to people between the ages of 25 and 50. After all, what is more personal than a photo? So it will be interesting to see where the IXXI tile artworks will be seen in the near future.

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Market: AI and print were a dream team long before ChatGPT
Article Name
Market: AI and print were a dream team long before ChatGPT
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Artificial intelligence has been the dominant topic across all industries for almost two years. But AI itself is not new. Even in the printing industry, there were business models based on artificial intelligence long before ChatGPT. One example of this was the Dutch company "Resnap", which first used classic algorithms and later AI models to revolutionize photo book production. At the Online Print Symposium, Thomas Beguin, one of the three founders, spoke about this - and how he wants to once again shake up the industry with his new company IXXI.
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Beyond-print.net

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, Owner: (Registered business address: Germany), processes personal data only to the extent strictly necessary for the operation of this website. All details in the privacy policy.