We all knows those digital picture frames which allow parents to have their kids digital pictures on their desk. They exists since many years. Most of those digital picture frames have a slot for memory cards, usually SD and their interface are usually hidden buttons or a button clutered remote. Recently some of them started playing some videos (never QuickTime), MP3 music (never ACC), or having a wifi interface that allow PC users (using a Windows only software) to upload their picture remotely on their Digital Picture Frames. Ceiva has even a model that retrieve the photos from an internet connection (dialup, wifi ou wired). Cheap hardware is there but as always bad software kills the good idea. And this is a Windows only world, just like before the iPod, before the iPhone… and there is a need for us Macintosh lovers.
Now this is what Apple should create : an iFrame.
Obviously the Apple iFrame would allow you to photocast your pictures from iPhoto over wifi with at last a decent interface. It would slideshow the pictures with nice and smooth transitions. But it could also play quicktime movies, AAC tunes. Using a simple Apple Remote, or at the touch of a (single) button, the iFrame would also allow you to browse through “non interactive” widgets, like the Weather, Stockquotes, all kind of RSS feeds, special alerts, short messages (iChat?), you .mac inbox unread email count, your day calendar, …
iFrame range would go from a small 7″ cheap model (640 x 480 pixels) model for consumers to large 17″ model designed for professional that want to showcase their portfolio on their walls. All of them with stunning Apple design enclosures.
Technically Apple could create such a product by starting from the iPhone technology. As Digital Picture Frames are plugged in an outlet, Apple could remove the expensive battery. As iPhoto would resize the pictures to your iFrame screen-size on sync, Apple could save more money by downsizing the 8 Gb memory to 1 Gb. Apple has a technology in the iPhone which allow to display huge JPEG with a low memory. So viewing camera shots directly from the SD slot wouldn’t be an issue. Apple would of course remove all the GSM components, and keep the ARM processor, Operating System and the iFrame software (regularly updated over wifi internet). Finally Apple would replace the touch enabled small iPhone screen by larger non sensitive screens. All this should allow price ranging from 199$ for the small 7″ model to 499$ for the 17″.
Bonus idea : Apple could also create a “mobile” iFrame model that would use a GSM circuit (GPRS and SIM card) to receive data at location without Wifi, like your grandmother home. The whole family could photocasts their pictures to a computer disabled grandmother. Even send pictures by MMS in europe. Wouldn’t that be great ?
Steve Jobs, I hope you will find this post as I am sure, you will get it.