Apple Picture Frame?

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,507
56
DFW, TX, USA
Another idea

As far as the market for a iFrame - I'd love one, if it was cheap enough. One of the main reasons I haven't bought a digital camera yet is because sharing photos around the coffee table is easier than sitting people in front of a laptop or the computer. The frames that are out there all are a little too expensive or they require silly subscriptions to services to house the pictures.

Here's what I'd like though; how about an airport and/or ethernet enabled "set-top-box" that can display pictures, movies, music, etc. off of an OS X machine somwhere on the network. All of these things can be done today if you have a SuperDrive and a DVD player, but a set-top-box would give you dynamic access to them at any time. Heck give it a system to mark things the viewers like and then you can go back to the OS X box and burn a DVD or CD with those items and give them to grandma or whoever.

I'm a little hesitant to call it a "set-top-box" as that has conotations of a Tivo or Web-TV type thing. I'm thinking of a simple, display only device that would not work without the OS X back end, or some kind of device serving the media up - heck put a fire-wire port on it and plug your iPod into it.

Airport is key though, bluetooth is way to slow and ethernet (although it might be an option for us geeks) would require cat-5 strung through the house. Contrary to what someone here posted, 802.11 is NOT expensive. A PC Card adapter retails for $40 - $50 at Best Buy. I'm sure wholesale on them is quite doable.
 

serpicolugnut

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2001
47
0
Atlanta, GA
Urgh...

I HOPE NOT!

Digital Picture Frames are an idea best left to RadioShack...

Give us a PocketPC like device running a lite verison of Mac OS X, capable of playing MP3's, QT Movies, with handwriting recognition and pocket Appleworks apps, all with Airport 802.11b connectivity. Hell, if Toshiba can deliver one of these things, Apple most certainly can too...
 

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,507
56
DFW, TX, USA
Re: Urgh...

Originally posted by serpicolugnut
I HOPE NOT!

Digital Picture Frames are an idea best left to RadioShack...

Give us a PocketPC like device running a lite verison of Mac OS X, capable of playing MP3's, QT Movies, with handwriting recognition and pocket Appleworks apps, all with Airport 802.11b connectivity. Hell, if Toshiba can deliver one of these things, Apple most certainly can too...
That would be great, but if we are to believe Apple - they keep saying that they are NOT developing a PDA.

Plus, the digital picture frame has a market - nobody has hit a price point to get that market to start buying yet.
 

arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,545
1,856
Re: Re: Urgh...

Originally posted by eric_n_dfw

That would be great, but if we are to believe Apple - they keep saying that they are NOT developing a PDA.
I'm not sure if they keep saying it... I think it was said twice. Once by Jobs and once by someone else (I forget)... but not recently. :)

arn
 

Wry Cooter

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2002
418
0
Re: Re: Urgh...

Originally posted by eric_n_dfw

That would be great, but if we are to believe Apple - they keep saying that they are NOT developing a PDA.

Plus, the digital picture frame has a market - nobody has hit a price point to get that market to start buying yet.
I doubt anyone will either. For a purely passive device. Unless it does motion video as well, and picks up<insert your fave TV program here>. Granny doesn't need to see the grandbabies that badly that people are dropping over 300 bucks for these digital photo frames. They just make more prints.

For the cost involved, it would be better going the iTablet route, the 6x9 to letter sized or larger touch screen full OS device.

I could imagine a LCD frame, with internal Toshiba Hard disk, which charged And downloaded your daily web reading in its sync caddy, but you would still need at least electronic book level controls, if not inkwell a touch screen and a full blown OS X inside.

If you are going to rant "but steve said no PDA" consider his interpretation of PDA as meaning "Shirt pocket rolodex" This won't fit into a shirt pocket, but has a familiar form factor, the letter sized page.
 

tpavell

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2002
7
0
Just the thing for Apple

I bought a Cieva frame for my parents. I recommend the digital frame concept to everyone I can. The thing is great and except for a couple things Apple can solve really easy (and put Cieva out of business in the process). 1. You have to pay $59, soon to be $79 a year to send pictures to it (it's Internet connected only). Apple can open this capability up for FREE through iDisk and give it USB, Firewire or wireless connection(s). 2. Cieva can't do motion or sound. My camera, like many others, can do QT movies. 3. Cieva isn't particularly stylish. Apple could design a killer looking frame.
 

synergy

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2002
248
0
AirPort is too expensive for a picture frame, but let's put FireWire and a HD inside? No way.
[/QUOTE]


Maybe not an HD. Maybe an IBM microdrive. Didn't those things come down to under 250 for the 1GB version?

Now we have Toshiba making their MP3 player based off of the same drive Apple uses in the iPod and they plan on having 2 and 3GB HDs for it as well.
A 2 GB Toshiba drive may not be as pricey as the current 5GB and 10GBs.
 

wHo_tHe

macrumors regular
Umm, a Microdrive is a very small, very slow hard drive. And even at 1/2 that price it'd be too expensive a component. And 1 GB would be overkill for a stupid picture frame anyway. 128mb (or 64mb, even) of flash RAM would probably be fine, and at about 1/4 the cost.

Why am I arguing about this idiotic device anyway?

:) of course
 

engpjp

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2002
19
0
Originally posted by wHo_tHe
AirPort is too expensive for a picture frame, but let's put FireWire and a HD inside? No way.

If this thing did exist it'd have a memory chip inside to store data and either 802.11 or Bluetooth to 'sync' with your computer or other enabled device.

At the risk of getting flamed, I still see a portable computing device of some sort coming from Apple. There are just too many loose pieces floating around that could (but not necessarily do) add up to a new kind of portable computing device. Features like Ink, Rendezvous and now iFrame (think PhotoStand for Palm, where your device shows a slideshow when it's in its cradle, although this device's cradle would be a virtual one) are being developed because they could help ensure the device actually gets used, rather than just thrown in a drawer somewhere as many ill-fated PDAs do.
The iFrame idea inherently has two practical constraints: one, it needs to be fed both power and data (pictures); and two, the screen quality needs to be of a very high quality. Those constraints were the reason why IBM didn't go ahead and mass produce such a device.

A fixed device, to hang on your wall or put on your piano, might feed off a cradle, as suggested above, but that would involve cables (FireWire or at least a power cable, if data transfer is done wirelessly). Not only is that clumsy, but it also limits the areas where an iFrame might be placed.

Airport or Bluetooth means that the resident Mac needs to be equipped with that capability too - extra expense on top of the iFrame itself. If the device doesn't include a harddisk, the price might be as low as $250; that, however, is still more than most people will pay for something with nothing but the ability to show a slideshow. Remember, we are talking something like a 640 by 480 pixels screen, less than the size of a small pocketbook! Most people will probably prefer to buy conventional films, have them developed and put into oldfashioned frames or photoalbums. They could even have some of the photos enlarged according to their wishes ... for less than $250.

Screen quality: think about how problematic reading even present-day tft-screens clearly on a sunny day can be. An iFrame screen needs to be backlit and have clear colors, particularly if it is stationary. Not only does that increase costs, it also means that you can't just use penlight batteries: something built-in, rechargeable is needed.

I doubt that the market is there for something that is just a slideshow in a frame. That is why I modified the theme in my previous reply and suggested an extended iPod instead: people are willing to pay for an MP3 player, and if it includes the capability of not only data transportation but also of displaying pictures and text (plus, possibly, stored webpages), they will be more than willing.

Concerning an iPod primarily as an intermediary (data transfer), I doubt that that would be interesting for a sufficiently large clientel - it would mean at least two other devices, with very specific transfer capabilities. There is a market for a device that is less than a PDA but more than just an MP3 player, more than just a portable harddisk, more than just a pictureviewer, more than just a data display unit, more than just a text viewer, and more than just a dictaphone.

And there is the knowhow inside Apple to develop and produce such a device within a short period of time.
 

Sayer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2002
981
0
Austin, TX
Throw my $200 PDA in a drawer?

I carry my PDA with me just about every day. I jot down notes on it, look at the calendar to see when bills are due or shipments need to ship, check the time, use the calculator and more.

If *you* cant find use for a PDA, then don't buy one only to throw it in a drawer. Some people actually have numerous contacts they need to keep track of along other info that is just easier to keep in a PDA than on bits of paper or in mind for weeks at a time.

A lot of people don't need a $3-4k computer to surf the Internet and play games either, but thats what they end up spending.

I honestly don't see utility in a digital picture frame. Some people might. If Apple chooses to make one, well we will find out if it sinks or swims.

The most radical idea is that the description was of an early stage tablet computer (since it has a HD and a FireWire port at least). Who knows! Its the speculation thats driving rumor sites, not trying to capitalize on wild-ass concepts to raise hit counters (well maybe that too).
 

wHo_tHe

macrumors regular
sayer I think a lot of PDAs end up in drawers because they don't end up performing well enough to have people integrate them into their lives, or they don't live up to the expectations of the buyer for whatever reason. Clearly people don't buy them and say, "Gee, I can't wait to get this home and throw it in a drawer."


I've been a PDA owner for almost 10 years and still use my Newton 2100 (now with 802.11, thank you) every single day. Frankly it's still the best I've ever seen or used. Although I consider the 2100 to be a true handheld computer, rather than merely a PDA.

--Jesse
 

Tue12

macrumors member
May 14, 2002
57
0
iFrame is such a dumb idea...

... I can't believe you guys are wasting your time discussing it.

Didn't your mothers tell you, reading MOSR makes stupidity grow in funny places.

:p
 

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,507
56
DFW, TX, USA
Originally posted by wHo_tHe
I've been a PDA owner for almost 10 years and still use my Newton 2100 (now with 802.11, thank you) every single day. Frankly it's still the best I've ever seen or used. Although I consider the 2100 to be a true handheld computer, rather than merely a PDA.
That's cool! I'm guessing you've got some 802.11 PCMCIA card haning off it - how's battery life with that? I've never used a Newton, how good are web browsers for it?
 

wHo_tHe

macrumors regular
Yeah, I just stick a Lucent WaveLAN card in one of the 2 PC card slots, and use the newly-developed shareware driver ($10).

Newton 2x00s are still very viable handhelds. They now do 802.11b, play MP3 files and streams, VNC, IM (Jabber), and will soon even be able to use CF-style memory cards up to 512mb. You can also sync with Entourage in Mac OS X!

They can of course do full POP3 and IMAP e-mail, and browse the Web somewhere between a Palm and a Pocket PC. Definitely very usable.

--Jesse
 

wHo_tHe

macrumors regular
And it's set to only activate the card during an active connection. Under normal use (checking e-mail, light browsing, IMing) I get nearly a week of use on four NiMH AAs. If I stream MP3s (using the card continuously), I get about 6 hours of uninterrupted use.