Cool Gear: Fresh Frame-Up
Picture frames will never be the same as new technology changes the possibilities of display
How can you display your favorite digital images and movie clips in any room of your house without being connected to a PC? By using a digital picture frame. These mini-monitors have been around for a while, but recent improvements in features—combined with more attractive pricing—are causing people to take a closer look.
Resembling a conventional picture frame, they consist of an LCD display panel that's controlled by a sophisticated integrated circuit board with firmware designed to display JPEG photos, and in some cases, show AVI video files and play MP3 audio files. Frames with MP3 capability can play music through built-in speakers while a slideshow of images is displayed.
Some frames use built-in memory to store the images while others rely on removable memory cards. Many frames also function as USB memory card readers, so you can transfer image files between the computer and the memory card. And some offer wireless 802.11b connectivity so your picture frame becomes part of your home network.