By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
While an ever larger share of the land brims with digital cameras, the question of what to do with a rapidly multiplying store of digital photographs still lingers. It was with an eye toward this fallow market that several digital frame manufacturers added new capabilities to their digital frames.
Ceivaadded camera phone capability to its Ceiva Network and Digital Photo Receiver.
The Ceiva frame connects via RJ11 jack to the Ceiva network where it automatically dials in via free local phone number at a pre-determined time to download new photos. Camera phone owners can program their cellphones — on any network — to upload images directly to Ceiva's network where they are then downloaded to the frame.
Digital images taken with a traditional digital camera are also uploaded to the frame via the Internet. Users manage what images are uploaded to the frame and at what intervals via a Web-interface. A single receiver can receive 30 new photos a day and over 10,000 a year.
Ceiva's site also provides access to online photo printing, editing and e-mailing.
The Digital Photo Receiver retails for a suggested $149.95 and requires a "Picture Plan" subscription fee for network access, starting at $6.95 a month.
The frame features a 5-inch by 7-inch LCD screen and ships with two 8-inch by 10-inch frame mattes in black or silver. Additional mattes are sold separately.
According to Dean Schiller, founder and CEO, Ceiva, the digital frame business "lagged a bit due to consumer behavior" but with the rapid uptick in digital camera sales and the explosive growth of camera-equipped cellular phones, the market is poised for growth.
"People have a lot of digital pictures and they don't know what to do with them," Schiller said.
Mobiintroduced the Digital MobiFrame. It features a 320 by 240 resolution, 3.5-inch TFT LCD screen and slots for SD/MMC and CompactFlash memory cards. Users can chose between a single picture display or slide show.
The MobiFrame also offers a video-out for connecting the frame to a TV, and a USB port for PC connectivity. The frame ships in January for a suggested $189.
PhotoVu announced its high-end PhotoVu PV1940 picture frame. The 19-inch LCD-based frame can display images at 1,280 by 960 resolution and supports Wi-Fi wireless networking or wired networking. It is compatible with a 40GB removable hard disk drive
The frame can be hung in either landscape or portrait-style and can accept images from Wi-Fi-enabled PDAs. The PV1940 supports Adobe Photoshop Album and Apple's iPhoto imaging software and can also display an image's EXIF data.
The PhotoVu PV1940 is available now for a suggested $1,299 standalone, for $1,399 with a 12-volt power source, and $1,549 with a 40GB external hard drive.
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