Tag Archives | Photo frames

Hands on With the Kodak Pulse Wi-Fi Frame

I got pretty excited about the Kodak Pulse digital picture frame back at CES, but didn’t have a chance for any one-on-one time with the product until last weekend. Who needs a review unit when your parents buy the gadget outright? And that in itself says a lot. After years of searching, we finally have an Internet-connected digital frame that’s parent and grandparent friendly. It has built-in memory, takes a USB stick, and best of all, accepts photos that are emailed from approved accounts.

The Kodak Pulse only comes in a seven-inch version, which is retailing for $119 at Amazon now. (Perhaps a ten-inch version for this year’s holiday shopping season?) It’s small, but sharp and bright. The controls are simple. You touch the screen to bring up the menu with options to select image source, single-photo or mosaic view, and slideshow settings. There’s also direct integration with Facebook photos and online Kodak galleries. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to say. There are nowidgets, and there’s no integration with other photo services like Snapfish or Flickr, but it doesn’t matter. If you want the grandparents to be able to plug in a digital frame and forget about it, the Kodak Pulse is a clear winner.

Specs:

  • 7-inch display with 800×600 resolution
  • 512MB internal memory
  • 1 USB port
  • 2 card slots – Secure Digital (SD), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Multimedia Card (MMC), MEMORY STICK (MS), MS PRO/MS PRO DUO, XD-Picture Card (xD)

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)


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Parrot’s new Wi-Fi Picture Frame and Wireless Speakers

(This post is part of the Traveling Geeks tech tour of Paris. David Spark (@dspark) is the founder of Spark Media Solutions and a tech journalist that blogs at Spark Minute and can be heard and seen regularly on ABC Radio and on John C. Dvorak’s “Cranky Geeks.”)

At a visit at phone-accessory and gadget maker Parrot in Paris, I interviewed Parrot’s CEO, Henri Seydoux, about a couple of new products: Grande Specchio, a wi-fi picture frame that just came out a few weeks ago, and some giant wireless speakers.

Grande Specchio has a few fun features such as retrieving geo-tagged photos from Picasa and the ability to send photos to the frame. In the video demo Seydoux tries to send a picture of me to the frame. He didn’t succeed at the moment. For a pricey 500 Euros ($750 US) you would hope it would be a little easier. But to give him a break, it wasn’t a prepared demo, and he wasn’t already connected to a network at the time.

As for the wireless speakers they’re only wireless in the transmission of music, not power. I haven’t seen a good solution to wireless power without lots of batteries. My feeling is if you have to drag a power cable, then the “wireless” aspect really isn’t that attractive because you’re still physically tethered. At 1200 Euros ($1800 US) it’s definitely only for audiophiles.


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HP’s DreamScreens: Photo Frames on Steroids

HP LogoA couple of days ago, HP unveiled an array of new PCs. Now it’s announcing a couple of gadgets that aren’t PCs at all–or quite like anything else on the market. It’s calling them DreamScreens. And while I don’t think HP thinks of them this way, they strike me as upscale, next-generation photo frames that do a lot more than display photos.

The DreamScreen 100 (with a 10.2″ display) and DreamScreen 130 (with a 13.3″ one) are designed to sit on a table like a photo frame. Both have direct wireless connections to the Internet, and can display photos shared on the Web (on HP’s Snapfish site), stream music (from Pandora and a service called HP SmartRadio), and show Facebook updates and weather reports. They can also grab music and video from their own 2gB of flash storage, from thumb drives and memory cards, and from PCs on your home network.

All of this reminds me a little of the weird and wonderful Chumby, but Chumby is a platform that third-party developers can write apps for. For now, DreamScreens only run the software that HP supplies for them–but when the company showed me DreamScreens recently, a representative told me that it might allow them to use additional apps in the future.

The DreamScreens are meant for fairly passive consumption of content; you control them with an infrared remote and with capacitive buttons that only light up when you need them, so the gadgets maintain a clean, streamlined look. (Looking at their slick on-screen interfaces, I’ll bet I’m not the only person who silently thought “Gee, it would be cool if these had touch screens.”)

The DreamScreen 100 is $249 and is available now; the 130 is $299 and will be available later in the Fall. We’ll have a review up soon. See photo below; gallery of more images here.

Are you at least provisionally intrigued by the idea?
DreamScreen


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Hands on: Sungale Desk Lamp Photo Frame

In my continuing quest to find meaningful evolution in the digital photo frame space, I stumbled upon the Sungale desk lamp with photo and video display. Not long ago I reviewed a Sungale touch-screen frame, and came away hoping for more. But the desk lamp is a different story. The photos are sharp on the 3.5″ screen, video is surprisingly crisp and easy to upload, and the device even plays any MP3 files you’ve got. My one hesitation here is that the lamp retails for $100 ($90 at Amazon). It’s probably not an unreasonable price, but I still find it hard to justify in my own budget as someone who would normally spend about $15 for a desk light. If your price range is higher, however, you should definitely give the Sungale lamp a whirl. It’s a lot of fun and would be a good gadget gift for the office worker.

First off, this desk lamp doesn’t disappoint in its primary function. The light is bright, soft, and easily flexes in any direction. It’s also energy efficient, consuming only 5W of power.

Getting beyond the lighting function, the lamp has a little pop-up LCD screen that resides in the base. As a photo frame, it’s a bit small, but remarkably clear. The screen gets 320×240 resolution, and the lamp has 512 MB of built-in memory. You can also plug in your camera’s memory card (SD, MMC, MS), or connect to a computer via USB. Transporting photos was easy. My PC opened up a dialog box asking if I wanted to connect using the “program provided on the device.” The software isn’t flashy, but it’s perfectly serviceable, and settings on the lamp allowed me to control the slide-show display.

Video on the small screen is also surprisingly good. Really. Any gadgety type would be proud to show off kid clips or inspiring videos of Homer Simpson praising beer during a mid-afternoon office lull. Again, transferring videos to the device is not difficult, and one click of the “video” button on the base will start up your mini movies. (You also select any specific clip by going into the on-screen menu.)

Finally, the Sungale desk lamp lets you play any MP3s you like. Since it’s not primarily a music player, this feature isn’t terrifically useful, but you can upload favorite songs or audio clips and enjoy them at will. Music will run with or without your photo display.

All in all, the desk lamp photo frame from Sungale is high quality, simple to use, and lots of fun. It’s available for purchase now within the US.

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)


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