Generally speaking digital photo frames are as dumb as bricks. The sole purpose of these low-end electronics is showcasing the hordes of digital pictures you take on your smartphone or digital camera, without much thought to intelligent curation of your memories. A crowdfunding push is underway to change this, though, in the form of the Fireside smart frame and cloud service.
The Fireside digital picture eco-system bills itself as a smart system in the home, consisting of its specialized "in the cloud" delivery system tied to a so-called "revolutionary re-imagining" of the digital photo frame. It also integrates apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
Your digital memories in the cloud
Here’s how this whole thing works. You take a digital picture or video through one of your mobile phones or tablets. All of this data is herded from these devices and through the Fireside app onto the company’s cloud service. Using what those behind this technology describe as "contextual computing and machine learning," the system gathers the digital memories into libraries that are organized by, among other things, life events such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Once the Amazon S3-based cloud service is done with its number-crunching, the photos are beamed over Wi-Fi to the rather elegant-looking Fireside SmartFrame (which also apparently can grab images via Bluetooth directly from users’ devices). This product, with its 64 GB of local eMMC storage, hosts your files locally so as to prevent possible buffering and playback issues one might encounter over a network. The memories are displayed in such a way as to take into account factors like special dates (i.e. birthdays, weddings) and weather conditions (i.e. if cold outside, it might display skiing and holiday images).
The 15-inch display frame, operating off of Android, is said to take design cues from furniture and lighting in its looks. It is crafted from materials like glass, melamine, chrome and copper. It also sports a rotating stand mechanism for either standalone placement on a mantle or hanging on the wall.
At the time of this post the Fireside was still in the early days of its Kickstarter campaign but steadily raking in the pledges. Early adopter pricing is currently set at US$339, and if all goes as planned first shipments of these devices should drop in June of 2015.
More information on the Fireside can be seen in the pitch video below.
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