Monday, December 30, 2013

Perhaps the Coolest Gadget of 2013

The digital revolution has spawned change in most every facet of our lives.  Among the most revolutionary have been changes in photography.  Taking, printing, sharing and displaying our favorite pictures is nothing like it was in the days of developing film and waiting to see if we really did catch that one-in-a-million shot. 

Sharing photos with friends and family no longer requires making and mailing actual prints.  Digital copies emailed or shared on one of several free online photo sharing websites allows for instantaneous and virtually free distribution.  Keeping track of the individual digital photos and displaying them is still somewhat of a hassle especially if you are not computer savvy.

I recently had the chance to use an electronic picture frame that takes the hassle out of sharing photos.  The frame and technology was developed by a French company and is marketed in the USA under the name PixStar. While electronic picture frames have been around for several years most require the user to transfer the photos from a computer, tablet or phone to the frame.  This task was at best tedious for the computer aficionado and downright mystifying for less technology prone.  The Pixstar frame makes it a breeze.  Each frame is provided a unique email address.  When you have a picture that you want to be displayed on your frame you just email it to that address. 

Once you set it up you can provide your frame‚Äôs address to anyone you want to be able to share pictures with you.  When they have a picture for you they just email it to your frame and the picture gets displayed in the rotating queue along with all your other pictures. This is all done automatically.

There are settings that allow you to preview incoming photos before they get added to your library.  You can set up a list of people you wish to share photos with.  So if you get a great vacation shot from one of your children you can send it from your frame to others in your family.

The Pixstar frame requires wifi and an internet connection.  Once purchased for about $150.00 there are no other charges for the service.   Set up was easy and once completed, the frame worked with no user intervention.  It even resets itself after a power or internet outage.


The Pixstar uses very powerful technology but requires the user to have little or no technical or computer knowledge. I noticed that it was out of stock at many retailers due to holiday demand but a search on line in early January at or should provide a way to get one soon.


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