BOSTON--Seybold Seminars is always a good place to see products before they hit the street. One intriguing newcomer at this year's conference in Boston was an online proofing service from RealTimeImages
( www.realtimeimage.com, 650-616-4670). The service will be commercially available later this year, and the per-transaction price may be under $20.
RealTimeProof is designed to cut down on the time, expense, and headaches of sending files and hard proofs between designer, client, service bureau, and printer. Instead, all people involved can simultaneously log into the service through a Web browser (though they will need a plug-in) to view and comment on concepts and proofs in real time. Any group member can annotate documents in windows that look like Apple's Stickies.
The company claims to have successfully addressed two thorny issues: transferring large files and delivering accurate color to printers. Designers and service bureaus send electronic files to the RealTimeImages server, which displays them in the browser plug-in using the company's image streaming technology, Pixels-on-Demand. Apple's ColorSync and color-calibrated remote proofs are the company's answer to the question of color fidelity.