By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS — As more photo frames incorporate wireless Internet connectivity, several vendors are hoping that third-party content from the Web will turn the standard frame into the much-anticipated "fourth screen" for consumer content.
Ipevo launched the Kaleido R7, a Wi-Fi frame capable of streaming images from Flickr or receiving weather and news feeds via RSS. The company will offer free EyeStage software from its Web site that will enable the frame to sync with iPhones and Windows Mobile-based smartphones for viewing images or live Web content on the frame.
The 7-inch model features an 800 by 480 display with 512MB of internal memory and slots for SD and MS cards.
It will ship in March for $199.
Hewlett-Packard introduced the 8-inch Smart Display. The Wi-Fi enabled model can be personalized via an online interface, where consumers can choose playlists of photos, news services, Internet radio stations and skins for their frame. Multiple users can create profiles for a single frame.
HP's Smart Display can access images stored on networked computers, from online services such as Snapfish or Flickr, and via MMS.
The frame features real-time notification if new content is uploaded to favorite Web sites and PictBridge compatibility for photo printing. The 800 by 600 display (4:3 aspect) will include 512MB of internal memory and slots for the popular flash-memory card formats.
Pandigital will incorporate a new touch-screen interface on its 2009 line of digital photo frames as well as market a line of high-end frames designed by Wallace Silversmiths.
The PanTouch Clear interface will be the successor to the original PanTouch touch-screen interface and uses a translucent printed circuit on fingerprint-resistant glass.
The new frames will sport an updated GUI for accessing common menu features. They will be sold in 8-inch and 7-inch sizes with 800 by 600 resolution displays (4:3 aspect), 1GB of internal memory, and will be wireless and Bluetooth-ready. The 8-inch model will retail for $139 while the 7-inch model carries a $119 retail.
In its line of non-touch screen frames, the company will offers its first 7-inch frame with a 4:3 aspect ratio and an 800 by 600 resolution display for $99.
The company's 2009 line will range from 7 to 15-inches, with prices to $279 and internal memory capacities between 512MB and 1GB.
They will include programmable on/off modes and clock/calendar functions. The models will feature wireless connectivity via an accessory adapter. Pandigital will sell its own branded adapter for $29.99.
Finally, Pandigital said it will partner with Wallace Silversmiths to develop sterling silver frames for the luxury home décor market. The frames will be available in the first half of the year.
Web widget provider Chumby announced partnerships with Samsung, Broadcom, Marvell and Insignia to bring Internet content to frames and televisions. The Chumby network includes north of 1,000 widgets encompassing 30 different categories, such as news, entertainment and sports. It will join a growing field of providers, such as Microsoft and Frame Media, offering to stream Internet content to wireless frames.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.