The history of digital photo frames

Picture frames hadn’t changed much over the centuries until computers revolutionized the way photographs are displayed. You are no longer restricted to a single photo per frame; you can even take your digital picture frame with you wherever you go. Simply take a photo with your cell phone, digital camera, or webcam and connect your device to the digital photo frame. Many frames even feature memory chips that save your images directly to the digital photo frame, freeing up your device for other projects. Other devices invite you to store your images on secure online servers.

Digital photo frames come in a variety of sizes up to 20 inches. You can even clip the smallest of digital photo frames to your keychain. Most digital photo frames use the JPG format, although some manufacturers now allow GIFs and other formats. The best digital frames use sophisticated software that allows you to run a slide show or add special features like wipes and subtitles.

Most seven-inch digital photo frames display images at 480 x 234 pixels. These images can be stretched to fit the screen, so expect some issues with aspect ratios. For best results, check the digital photo frame image to make sure the device has not stretched the image sideways. If so, crop the image so that the digital frame enlarges the subject in a complementary way. Other images may appear pixelated or “boxy” due to resolution issues. Some digital photo frames place a black border around images or crop them.

The market for digital photo frames has exploded with new and exciting products. Several major companies now offer digital frames, including Kodak, Sony, Polaroid, and Ceiva. The framework is actually a simple, stand-alone computer. Each frame contains a CPU or Central Processing Unit, memory, a modem to connect to the Internet, a screen, and some controls, such as brightness and an on/off switch. These small memory chips or computers use an operating system similar to those used in PDAs and electrical test units.

In 2008, some digital photo frames manufactured in China and Hong Kong were infected with a Trojan virus in the product’s internal memory card storage units. There have been no notable security threats with digital picture frames since this incident. Digital frames are now safe, secure, and perhaps the easiest way to display all the photographs and frames of your life.

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