Welcome Wi-Fi Photo Frames… Finally!

Kodak Pulse CES 2010 Digital Experience

I’ve been waiting for years for a useful Wi-Fi photo frame, and it looks like 2010 may finally usher in the new digital frame era. At Digital Experience tonight (a CES event within an event), I saw two promising entrants in the Wi-Fi photo frame market. First comes the Kodak Pulse. At seven inches and $129.99, the Pulse might sound a bit overpriced, but it’s not when you consider the full touch screen, and the fact that it gets its own IP address. This is the application grandparents have been waiting for. Mom and dad can email photos of baby Johnny, and they will immediately go into rotation on Grandma’s frame. The Pulse also integrates with Kodak Gallery and Facebook, with the potential for further service integration down the road. It’s due out in retail April-ish.

I also saw Pandigital’s Photo Mail frame tonight. Like the Pulse, it receives photos by email with no monthly subscription fee, but emailing photos comes with a per-pic charge after the first 300 emailed shots. The frame has Wi-Fi and connectivity via AT&T’s Edge network. Also due out around April, the Photo Mail frame is eight inches, but without the full touch screen. Interestingly, the back end is apparently handled by Snapfish, but there is no direct integration with existing Snapfish albums (as with the HP DreamScreen). The expected retail price is $149.99.

Bottom line: I want more testing time with the Kodak Pulse. I think we might have a winner.

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12 thoughts on “Welcome Wi-Fi Photo Frames… Finally!”

  1. They seriously charge you to put photos on the frame? That’s so ridiculous I can’t even believe it. Can you imagine having to pay Sony or Panasonic a transaction fee for every television show that you watch? I hope consumers are smart enough to stay away from that one.

  2. I bought the Kodak EasyShare W1020 for my parents this Christmas (I’ve also been waiting years for a WiFi frame). No full touch screen, but lets face it, Grandma ain’t touching that thing after you’ve configured it. $140 for a 10″ device that checks photo RSS feeds means I don’t have to bother with emailing photos. I just upload to picasa web like I normally do.

    I also agree a per photo charge sounds ridiculous, though it may be more reasonable than setting up a wireless router that never gets used for anything else.

  3. We almost pulled the trigger this christmas, but reviews said HP and Toshiba were the leading contenders and both had issues. Looks like a likely grandparent gift in 2010.

  4. I almost went the EasyShare route for my Dad.
    Keep up the hunt for WiFi picture frames Dave, I will be watching. :)

  5. I’d love to try that Kodak Pulse photoframe out. I make DIY photoframes for very little money and they turn out nice, but ease of use, touchscreen, and WiFi make this one very interesting. Keep us posted on that one Mari.

  6. I second the Kodak W1020. I got one last year for Xmas. I had to do some custom coding to generate a PhotoRSS feed from my online gallery (Coppermine), but it works great. Both sets of Grandparents have one so they can see updated photos of the kid when I upload them.

  7. Tony,

    About 3 years ago my wife and I gave Ceiva frames to all four sets of our grand parents. 2 sets of our grand parents did NOT have internet (and don’t still don’t want it.) But even thought they don’t have an internet connection they still can get pictures sent to them using a Ceiva frame. Why? Becasue Ceiva’s can also dial out using a traditional 1-800# land line. This makes it easy for us, no matter how the frame is connected, to send pictures to all of our grand parents. Oh and all of our siblings send pictures to them too. It really is a great way of doing it.

  8. Bonnie,

    Just checked with Kodak support. You need an internet connection to register the frame but it should still work without a constant connection. You can transfer pictures using an SD card; you just wont be able to email directly to the frame…

    I’m in the same situation and are considering getting one and registering it before sending it to my parents.

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