Tag Archives: Smart Picture Frame

Skylight is a smart frame that lets you beam photos to a loved one

This plug-and-play frame is perfect for grandparents who just want a frame that works without any hassle. 

Long before the age of social media, emails and smartphones, photographs used to have a special place inside our homes. We took the time to capture precious moments, have those images developed, frame them and eventually display them proudly on tables, shelves and along the mantel. But what about the older generation? Why should they not be able to stay up-to-date with their loved ones as they experience some of life’s most joyous occasions? That’s what one group of Harvard Business School students have set out to solve.


Skylight is a touch-enabled, Wi-Fi-connected photo frame that allows users to simply email pictures from their phone or computer directly onto a loved one’s device — from anywhere in the world.

How it works is relatively easy. A user snaps a photo and sends it to a uniquely assigned Skylight email address. The photo then suddenly appears on the frame in real-time. As soon as photos are added to Skylight, they are automatically resized to fit in the 7-inch, high-quality display. The 1024×600 LED screen will showcase the snapshots in a 1.7:1 aspect ratio, while photos will also be rotated to their proper orientation automatically. The frame supports a wide range of file types, including JPEG, JPG, BMP, PNG and GIF.

Not only is it super simple to share images, the out-of-the-box ready device connects to Wi-Fi in less than 60 seconds via its touchscreen interface. In fact, Skylight was designed with parents and grandparents in mind, especially those who just want a frame that works without any hassle. The team adds, “After you turn it on, it automatically detects available Wi-Fi networks, and the touchscreen makes it easy to connect to the one of your choice. From there, Skylight will display any photos you send to it in a chronological slideshow.”


Beyond that, the frame owner will receive a notification whenever new photos are sent, and with a mere touch of the screen, can view them. If a loved one wants to show how much they enjoyed a particular picture, they just tap an accompanying heart button and Skylight relays an email back to the original sending letting them know.

“Digital frames tried to solve this, but have always come up short. They’re complicated to use, and what’s worse, no one ever updates them since they require a USB or memory card to add photos. The photos you want to share are on your phone or laptop, not a USB,” the team adds.

Sound like something your family would like to have? Hurry over to Skylight’s official Kickstarter campaign, where the team is currently seeking $30,000. Pending all goes to plan, shipment is slated for August 2015 — just in time to capture those back-to-school memories!

Digital photo frame doubles as an energy monitor

While it might look like an ordinary digital picture frame, it’s so much more.

A digital photo frame that shares memorable moments of your life and saves you money on your electric bill each month? Picture that! That is the premise behind CEIVA Energy’s HomeView digital picture frame, which allows users to keep tabs on home energy use, without the need for another display showing boring information about kilowatt hours.


Founded in 2000 by former Disney executives, the Burbank, California company officially launched in 2011. Since its inception, the infiltration of smart devices throughout the home has led to an assortment of sophisticated thermostats, like the Google Nest and Honeywell Lyric, that can learn a homeowner’s energy consumption habits and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly to mitigate costs and unnecessary use.

While the idea of merging a digital photo display with energy data may seem a bit absurd, the team behind the frame believes it has developed a new, more intuitive alternative to increase customer engagement. And, as the smart home market continues to emerge, some consumers may find connected devices to either be too pricey or unnecessary, or the average consumer may just not be interested in another form of technology. What’s great about CEIVA HomeView is that it simply brings an accessory already found throughout your home into the digital-savvy era.

How it works is pretty simple. The frame displays a montage of photos uploaded by its owner on its 8-inch screen. Meanwhile, the ZigBee-enabled device wirelessly receives energy use data from the home’s smart meter. Once the information has been sent to and processed by CEIVA’s servers, the frame then displays home energy consumption approximately every 90 seconds. The data points are reduced to two or three numbers, not an entire chart or graphical representation that shares a bunch of confusing information. Instead, the gadget reveals useful things like electric rate and an estimated utility bill for that month.


While receiving information about current and historical electricity, water and gas usage is a welcomed addition into any home, users can also invite friends and family to send photos directly to the frame, send pictures to a frame remotely via the web, email, camera phone, tablet and social media channels, as well as insert a memory card and view a camera’s photos in real-time.

One of, if not the, most important feature of the HomeView is its security — an imperative element as the number of smart home hacks are on the rise. Equipped with an Atmel ATECC108 crypto engine, CEIVA notes that the frame never be replicated and all communications to and from frame are uniquely assigned for that specific. In other words, only you can view information and control your devices. This is because the ATECC108 provides a full turnkey Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) engine using key sizes of 256 or 283 bits, which are appropriate for modern security environments without the long computation delay typical of software solutions.

Want a HomeView frame for your home? Head on over to company’s official page here. In the meantime, watch as CEIVA’s Jack McKee and Jack Brooks provide a hands-on overview of their latest smart device below.