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Pandigital Adds Touchscreen Frames, Previews Future Direction

Dublin, Calif. — Digital frame maker Pandigital will add three new models with touchscreen interfaces to its line up in May.

The company is also forging partnerships with content companies for future offerings with pre-loaded content, said CEO Dean Finnegan. Pandigital will also debut a service later in the year that will allow consumers to upload their images and have them loaded onto a frame before it is shipped to them, Finnegan said.

The new PanTouch line will include a 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch model with a touch-creen surrounding the display, between the frame’s edge and LCD panel. In addition to accessing stored image, music and video files, the touch display allows consumers to scroll through images with a “page turning” effect by swiping their finger back and forth across the touch panel.

The models will also include a remote control and feature a clock and calendar mode, programmable on/off times and a six-in-one memory card reader.

All the new PanTouch frames will be compatible with optional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters.

The 7-inch model (PAN7001W01T), for $119, sports a 482 by 234 resolution, 15:9 ratio display and 128MB of internal memory. Both the 8- and 10-inch frames will feature 4:3 aspect ratios and 512MB worth of storage. The 8-inch frame (PAN8002W02T) will feature an 800 by 680 resolution screen and retail for $169, while the 10.4-inch model (PAN1002W02T) will be available in a choice of black or wood frames with a 1024 by 768 resolution screen for $249.

According to Finnegan, Pandigital shipped 2.2 million units into the U.S. market last year and expects to more than double that this year. “We are prepared to ship 5.6 million panels for 2008,” he said.

The overall market is likely to reach between 12 million and 14 million units in the United States, Finnegan predicted.

In addition to tying up with content partners, Pandigital plans on partnering with “traditional” frame companies to offer new frame styles, Finnegan said.