SAN JOSE, Calif. — With sales of digital cameras now greater than conventional film cameras, a Silicon Valley start-up has launched the next step in the digital photo revolution. Wallflower Systems, Inc. of San Jose is now shipping the Wallflower, a beautifully crafted, 8 x 10 in. electronic photo frame that uses WiFi connectivity and a hard drive to load, store and display thousands of high-quality images.
A “must have” gift for all types of photographers, from snapshot enthusiasts to serious hobbyists and professionals, the Wallflower works with a personal computer to quickly and easily create a photography show that can be elegantly displayed on a table, shelf or desk in the home or office. The easy-to-use software lets users compile photo albums on a PC or notebook, and then quickly transfer them to the Wallflower’s built-in hard drive. Once loaded, pictures are displayed in rich, full-color on the 1024 x 768 pixel display. New images and updated display instructions are easily transferred via the WiFi (802.11b) wireless network connection, and there’s no need for connecting cables or shuffling memory cards.
“The Wallflower combines two of today’s most exciting technologies, digital imaging and WiFi, to make it easy for people to display and enjoy digital pictures,” said Mitch Kahn, president and founder of Wallflower Systems. “All of us at Wallflower Systems were early adopters of digital photography, and we weren’t satisfied with the cumbersome, small image size digital picture frames available to view finished photos outside of the PC screen. The response to our initial product shipments has been tremendous, showing us that artisan craftsmanship and design for usability still stand out in the digital age.”
Using the Wallflower is easy. Once it is plugged in it automatically finds the local WiFi network. Users can simply drag and drop images into the Wallflower folder on the desktop using software that is built-in to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The Wallflower even automatically adjusts image size and creates letterboxes so images are optimized for the 8 x 10 in. display size. Options such as image flip-time, portrait or landscape orientation, and album organization are changed through a web browser interface. Using an Internet-connected Wallflower, users can also share images with friends and family without costly monthly service fees.
The viewable area of the Wallflower is a 12.1 in. LCD screen. This 8 x 10 in. photo area is about four times larger than other digital picture frames. Overall frame size is about 18.5 x 15.5 in., depending on the specific model. Wallflower digital picture frames are handcrafted and come in a variety of finishes, ranging from light maple to dark cherry and black. Typically priced at $599, depending on frame style and finish, Wallflower digital picture frames can be ordered online at http://www.wallflower-systems.com. The website contains detailed information on PC operating system compatibility and wireless hardware support.