Photo Printing on Autopilot – Inside Imaging

April 7, 2021

New Zealand based software developer Autopilot printing has teamed up with brick-and-mortar retailers and some of the most popular print ordering apps such as Printicular and Local Prints Now, to provide an easy four-click ordering service from a computer, an application for smartphone or tablet.

Ordering a print is as easy as it gets with no editing options and paying in-store rather than online.

Autopilot Prints customers include Boots and Tesco (UK), CVS, Warehouse & Walgreens (US) and more recently in Australia, Ted’s, Camera House and several independent stores.

Unlike more comprehensive photo print ordering systems such as Dakis, there is no ability to edit or adjust images (you can crop and rotate) and the range of services available is limited. On the other hand, the ease of ordering will be attractive to customers looking for the easiest possible way to order prints online.

Using the LocalPrintsNow app, the process is:
1. Upload or drag and drop image files from online or stored image collection (compatible with Facebook, Instagram, etc.);
2. Customer selects from a selection of nearest participating retailers;
3. Choose size and quantity;
4. The customer enters his details and places the order.

The customer pays in store. Retailers collect payment from customers when they arrive at the store. There is no in-app credit card payment or other means of collecting payment for pickup orders.

Autopilot Print is positioned as a complement rather than a replacement for more sophisticated and complete systems such as Dakis.

“Our goal is to send you additional orders, not to replace any software or websites you currently have,” explains the Q&A from retailer Local Prints Now. Autopilot commission is 10%. There is no registration, setup or other fees.

“We can usually get the store live within 48 hours,” said Rod Macfarlane, director of Autopilot Print. “There is a web-based system to manage orders or stores can install our order management software which integrates with major photo printers such as Fuji, Noritsu and DiLand. ‘

Camera & Photo (Ocean Grove and Torquay, Vic) is an independent testing system.

“I put Camera & Photo on this system before Covid,” said Camera & Photo owner Brendan Waites. “Unfortunately one thing led to another and I have yet to communicate this to my clients. Most of my internet users are happy to use the Dakis website provided via a link from cameraandphoto.com.au – even on a phone.

“The autopilot system is pretty cool and easy to use, provided your photos are good to print,” he said. “The system background is a bit fiddly though. I need to download and unzip a folder, then manually transfer it to my Noritsu software and create a new worksheet. A little more autonomy there would be beneficial.

We “tested” the service from a desktop computer and a smartphone without any problems. We were notified by email when the order was received and about an hour later when it was ready for collection.

Autopilot recently announced that it has updated its print control applications to work on the new Mac M1 computer.

Elaine F. Brim