OAK RIDGE, Tenn. and PALO ALTO, Calif. (3/22/00)—Internet Pictures Corporation (Nasdaq: IPIX), a leader in visual content infrastructure solutions for the Internet, today announced that iPIX will provide an integrated end-to-end visual content solution to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., owner of the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, and W brands. Through the power of iPIX images, business and consumer travelers will experience the amenities of Starwood Hotels & Resorts around the world at the respective branded Web sites.
“The Internet has emerged as a mission-critical medium for hotel and resort marketing and ecommerce,” said Doug Stone, Vice President Interactive Marketing of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “iPIX enables us to leverage the power of the Internet by adding rich visual content to our Web site and travel portals, as well as sending the content in emails to our customers and travel agents. Through iPIX scalable and reliable digital media infrastructure, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will be able to significantly improve our online presence and drive online reservations.”
iPIX will provide Starwood with iPIX ecommerce services, which currently include an integrated visual content solution for its online and direct marketing initiatives. iPIX turnkey service will include the creation of 360¡ x 360¡ images of hotel common areas, guest rooms, and surrounding areas allowing travelers to look in any direction just as if they were standing there. iPIX will also host the digital media content on the iPIX high-volume server architecture and seamlessly distribute the images and other digital media to the full complement of Starwood Web sites, as well as travel portals. Starwood anticipates that this partnership will enable enhancing of its online marketing and accelerate online booking transactions with high-quality, Web-based, and emailable visual content.
“iPIX Visual Content helps to drive ecommerce on travel and hospitality Web sites,” said Jim Phillips, CEO of iPIX. “Starwood’s industry-leading collection of popular business and leisure properties provide an incredible platform for online and email bookings using iPIX ecommerce services. We are thrilled to be working with such an Internet savvy corporation that shares our vision of accelerating ecommerce by providing consumers with visual content of hotels and resorts around the world.”
To ensure that Starwood’s visual content is available to the maximum number of online viewers around the world, iPIX will provide its ViewAlways? technology which automatically senses the viewer’s Internet platform, and optimizes the content for a PC, Macintosh, set-top box, or wireless personal digital assistant. In addition to high-speed and reliable delivery of images across the Web, iPIX will also enable Starwood to send customized emailable virtual tours that allow users to discover more about the Starwood Preferred Guest Programs, investigate new properties, email hotel recommendations to friends and business colleagues, and even book their reservations with the iPIX one-click ecommerce button.