Talking, singing pictures win awards for Incline firm |

Talking, singing pictures win awards for Incline firm

Judith Harlan

SoundPix, the brainchild of a group of Incline Village entrepreneurs, basks these days in the afterglow of attention, both local and international.

The company took the spotlight recently at the Golden Capital Network Venture Capital Conference,winning the Best Nevada Startup award.

And at Photokina 2004, an international digital photography trade show, they garnered attention for their innovation.

Their story is one of being in the right place at the right time – and being entrepreneurial spirits ready for business adventures.

Their business plan is a collaboration and partnership paradigm.

Retail, end-users, manufacturing, and warehousing all those business pieces are peripheral to the fastpaced road being taken by SoundPix, says Eric Severance, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

Oh, and the product embedded sound in a jpeg format file.All of those jpeg images that are being zapped around amongst professionals and family and friends now can include sound.

Imagine the possibilities.

The key to the product, says Severance, is the fact that the sound will be embedded in the file not just attached, but part of that file’s code.

That means that the jpeg can be opened – most likely – by almost anyone, almost anywhere on a PC or a Mac.

The product line includes the entire life cycle of a still image, from image capture (in cameras and wireless devices), to editing on the desktop, to sharing over the Internet or wireless networks, says Severance.

“We built a better mousetrap,” adds Severance.

He and his original partners, John Osborne and Pat Finnigan, started in 2000 when photography was going digital by asking themselves what could be added to the product.

They came up with sound, found that no one else was embedding it in a jpeg yet, and built a team to engineer a patentable solution.

“The timing was good,” says Severance.

“Over the last two years, digital photography has been adopted by the masses.”

And he’s betting that the masses will love sound.

SoundPix is reaching out to original equipment manufacturers and has found interest already from Texas Instruments, which is partnering in a

digital image chip for cameras.

The group is going after other OEMs, too.

Then there are the commercial enterprise markets, chiefly the Web, says Severance.

SoundPix has a partnership with DotPhoto, for Web use, and DotPhoto is starting to offer it to subscribers.

Corporate Websites are another market.

and Severance sees SoundPix becoming part of forensic reporting and insurance records.

And finally, there is the retail market.

The SoundPix entrepreneurs are not going to do retail, says Severance, but they’re offering end-user products which, too,will be partnered.

Currently, those products can be purchased and downloaded off the Website (

SoundPix is growing up fast, says Severance.

It’s been through its technology development and product development phases.

The year 2004 was about taking it to the marketplace, he says.

And now the young company is in a new phase, eagerly developing

strategic partners.