Canvia's interactive art display mimics a beautifully-lit canvas on your wall
This 32-inch digital picture frame is designed to replicate the look of real artwork on your wall, down to the textures and brush strokes. It comes with a curated library of thousands of great works, offers the chance to support current artists, and senses ambient light to tune itself to the room.
Even to people who aren't particularly deeply into it, art is just about mandatory in the home. Rooms just don't feel the same without it. Mind you, it can be brutally expensive, especially if you start dealing with original artworks, or anything well known. And who's to say you want a room to stay the same long-term?
Digital art frames offer a nice opportunity to hang something dynamic on the wall that you'll never get tired of. We've written about several in the past, notably the US$900 Memento Smart Frame and the giant, $1,800 50-inch Frame.
The first thing to know about the Canvia offer is that it's up on Kickstarter for $275 as we speak, making it considerably easier to come at than the others.
In technical terms, it's a 32-inch frame with a white border surrounding a 24-inch, 1080p IPS anti-glare display. It's got an ARM processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (that's some 10,000 images) and connects via Wi-Fi to iOS and Android devices. It uses 35 watts of power when it's running.
Canvia's key goal was to create something as close to the experience of an original, framed artwork as possible, so the team built in ambient light sensors so the image could be adjusted to the ambient lighting conditions and temperatures with a view to making it look like a beautifully lit portrait under just about any conditions. The team claims it replicates texture and brushwork realistically enough that it's difficult to tell the difference if you're not pixel-peeping from inches away.
Canvia comes linked to a free library of artworks, over 3,000 and growing, spanning a ton of genres, eras and cultures, from the old masters through to surrealism, modern and contemporary works, plus photography and some other media. They are organized into playlists based on mood, artist and content. The Canvia can use its sensors to read the room, and figure out what sort of art would best match the decor.
Admirably, the Canvia team also offers a premium tier by subscription for $30 a year ($50 for 2 years, $120 for 5 years). We say admirably, because this premium tier gives you access to the work of current artists, more than 100 big names and up-and-comers, and a percentage of the subscription fees goes to the artists themselves. So it's a nice way to support the creators.
Yes, you can put your own photos on it if you think your stuff is better than Magritte or Monet's. It's all controlled by a smartphone app, or through voice units like Alexa. And you can change the orientation and zoom in and out on details as you see fit.
The Canvia will reportedly retail for $550 once crowdfunding is over, so the current pledge level of US$275 looks like a great deal – though crowdfunding projects always carry a risk. That said, the campaign has already hit its target, and if all goes to plan, shipping begins in January. Check out a video below.