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Famatic Wants To Build A 'Social Photo Frame' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 April 2014

With Mother's Day looming, we always remember with a twinge the fiasco of digital photo frames. They were the perfect gift. Except nobody could actually live with them. But this Mother's Day, a Kickstarter project by Famatic has resurrected the concept with none of the problems.

The idea for Famatic emerged from a personal experience of Famatic co-founder Thijs Suijten:

I take a lot of photos of my daughters and share them on Facebook. But the ones who'd love to see them the most, their grandparents, are unable to see them because they're not familiar with social media. I found myself printing photos or bringing a laptop when visiting them to show photos of their grandchildren, such a hassle. I asked myself, why isn't there an easier way to share photos with them?

Digital photo frames were simple enough. Plug one in and turn on the power. Photos stored on internal memory would display automatically or you could pop a memory card into the frame. Some made contact with an account on the Web to get fresh content.

But nobody liked leaving them on and nobody liked looking at them all the time. So they were shut off and never showed anything.


On Famatic's Kickstarter page, Suijten and fellow co-founder Peter Rimmelzwaan promise not to make that mistake:

We thought the Famatic device should be fundamentally different from classic digital photo frames. It should not be a "static" device that only allows you the see photos while standing in front of it, but it should be a device you can pick up and interact with.

Ah, so not a frame but a tablet.

They designed an Android tablet with a simple stand, built some prototypes, shot some videos of it in action and launched a campaign to raise $75,000 by June 3.


It's easy enough to populate the frame by emailing photos or videos to it. You can do that from any device or computer with an email program, apparently.

Famatic also connects to your social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr, etc. And there's a mobile Web app to connect to the frame, as well.

When new content is received, the tablet beeps and your audience taps the screen to enjoy it. They can add a comment using a button marked with feedback like "Sweet" or "Sad" or "Congratulations," etc.


The tablet itself has 1-GB RAM plus 8-GB internal flash memory (which can be expanded) for local caching of content. It features an 8-inch IPS touch screen with 1024x768 pixels and a WiFi adapter. It also has front and back cameras and a built-in microphone. And a battery that can keep the display running for eight hours.

It isn't stated on the Kickstarter page but apparently you will need to set up a WiFi connection for the tablet to communicate with the Web. And it also isn't clear if there are subscription fees to the service hosted on the Web. Beyond that, if you back the project, you can get a Famatic tablet as low as $169. For $329, you can get one "in any color you want."

If Famatic meets its funding goal, the company expects to ship in October.

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