Like the slideshows they display, digital photo frames have been going through a number of transitions.
From single-purpose devices, they have changed to screens that not only show photos but also can wake you up with a weather report and a stock quote. With Kodak’s Pulse frame, the move is back to a purer, simpler concept, backed by cloud-based intelligence.
Until recently, most of the Taylor family’s digital photo frames (DPFs) were gathering dust because we had unplugged them. We had bought a clutch of these first-generation devices for displaying digital photos but found the screens disappointingly small and low-resolution, and the limited internal storage capacities allowed only a few dozen images to be displayed.
But digital photo frames have become cheaper and evolved quickly to add features that include: slots for extra memory cards, which make it easier to load photos; Wi-Fi networking capabilities, so content can be added via a home network; and the ability to refresh content over the internet, so friends and family can add photos, and images can be downloaded from web-based services.
Hewlett-Packard, which is trying multiple ways to get people to keep printing things instead of just posting them online, will roll out something truly novel this fall: a printer that doesn’t need a computer.
The high-end HP Photosmart Premium will sell for about $399 and has its own 4.33-inch touch screen, allowing consumers to select pages to print from a limited number of providers.