As I’ve made very clear before, digital photo frames should not darken my door unless they have some sort of in-built wireless connectivity. Yes, you can pick up a cheap display that just takes memory cards but, my argument goes, after that initial flurry of “oh this is fun, let’s load photos onto it!” you’ll end up never bothering. Wireless means you can constantly be streaming new photos, it means you don’t have to to worry about how much on-board memory there is, and finally it’s just cooler, dammit.
The latest to catch my eye is CEIVA’s range of FrameT displays, which take advantage of the company’s PicturePlan service. There’s the option of on-board WiFi, but what singles them out is that they can also connect via dial-up. “Why is that important?” I hear you splutter, “what sensible person doesn’t have broadband?” Well, my grandmother certainly doesn’t. Let me explain: like I imagine is the case all over the world, there are grandparents missing out on family photos because they don’t have (or want) internet access. A CEIVA frame could sit happily on my grandmother’s sideboard, downloading new photos in the middle of the night and letting her see the mischief everyone has got up to when she’s up in the morning.
PicturePlan is subscription-based, costing $99.95 for a year’s service (or $6.95 a month) with a local dial-up number (or $159.99 for a toll-free number). Images can be sent from a PC or directly from a cellphone, either to your own frame or to anyone on your list of friends. The photos are stored online, and with a simple button-press a print can be ordered from the frame itself.
The FrameT range starts from $149.99 for a seven-inch model, and is available now. If it – and the PicturePlan service – were available in the UK then I think I would’ve just found my grandmother’s Christmas present!
CEIVA [Thanks to Bret for the tip!]