The importance of Wi-Fi for digital picture frames
Recently I made a post on one of the internet blogs about some no brand
digital picture frame. Later on I found out, that those funky things
boast DPF acronym like many things in our daily life these days… SMS,
MMS, MMC, VOD, MP3, LCD etc etc. Unfortunately it seems that quite a few
products released these days always lack the “final link” to make it
perfect. A few examples relate to mobile technology: Nokia’s flagship
model – N95…gorgeous device but lacks two things in my opinion; #1 Multi
band 3G and #2 – the design…let’s face it it’s slightly on a cheap side.
Another example (again…in mobile area) would be recent Samsung’s N95
killer device.. GORGEOUS design, STURDY like a tank from what I see yet
crippled by only three GSM bands and a single 3G band. WHY OH WHY I ask.
So, this brings me to the state of digital photo frames. After I wrote
my posting on the (un)mentioned blog (I believe it was
www.engadget.com) I received an e-mail from Hannes asking If I’d be
interested in sharing my opinion about digital photo frames.. SURE. I
can whore myself out a bit on the net
Since I’m just an average Joe in real and virtual life I’d a nice way to
say “I’m interested in hearing what you have to say” so thanks Hannes
for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion.
Back on track…The comment I made was about the lack of WiFi on the photo
frame which was discussed in the posting. I think DPF’s are a cool
gadget to have but with the current implementation (at least in my
household) it would quickly become a 5-minute gadget. The technology
made me lazy. DPF’s that require from me to connect them to the computer
or preload media on a memory card are just that…a 5 minute gadgets. They
will be fun for a day or two, then you’d become less inclined to pull
the card out, take it to your computer, fiddle around and figure out
which photos to upload and then watch the same photos over and over and
over for a week, two, three…then you’d just become TOO lazy to deal with
it and the device you had so much fun with for 5 minutes would just
collect the dust.
Enter the world of (some sort) of online connectivity…be it Bluetooth,
or WiFi. Imagine now you won’t have to get up to yank the photos from
your pc to the frame. Instead it would be nice to be able to link it to
an online service (flickr for example) and stream all those photos you
took with your camera phone or better yet be surprised with photos
streamed from your favourites.
Hannes made a point by saying that not everyone has the need for WiFi
enabled frames. I countered his comment and said that it’s out of pure
convenience. I do not expect those frames to become movie or music
download portals but simply a devices that can connect to online albums
for pure convenience. In my opinion a frame without online connectivity
is like photo albums where before you show it to your friends you take
it to another room in your house, place 10-15 photos inside and show it
to your friend. After they see 10-15 photos, you take it back, remove
the old photos, put the new ones in and show the album again…obviously a
pain in the neck process. Now imagine the same album but with 1000
pages…less running, less changing of the photos and more enjoinment from
the actual fun of viewing the photos.
WiFi technology became so cheap these days that I don’t think person who
decides to buy a DPF would skimp $10-15 extra to enable WiFi
connectivity. So where are these super connected frames??? Only a
handful exists on the market. We are being flooded by a low quality
frames with even lower resolution displays. For many manufacturers
instead of releasing 7inch frame with blue, red, yellow or what else
color bezel and 6.5 and 7 inch displays WHY not releasing ONE but GOOD
or at least decent device; 7inch 800x480 display, WiFi, and 256 MB of
internal memory (with possible for expansion IF needed via memory card).
Internal memory would be only for buffering purposes or if you’d want to
give the frame as a gift to Grandma.
So the SAD state if DPF’s is just that…sad. Are we going to see some
innovation from the manufacturers of those gizmos? I hope so. Until then
I will be staying away from devices that lack online connectivity since
for me it does not make a sense to waste money on a “half alive” device
just like I would not buy an MP3 player without a display, or a cellular
phone with three bands instead of four, or pc with bottom line cpu….you
get the point.
This article was written by Maciek on 28 October 2007. He his the
publisher of the blog
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