Connected Objects

QLEEK seeks to recapture physical display for digital media

QLEEKPeople love to display their records, CDs, DVDs and other acronym-identified digital files in their apartments or houses, but not all are nice to look at. The French-made QLEEK offers a way to store digital files onto little cool looking wooden hexagons called Tapps. Different designs for each Tapp are available online to make them look however you want. Tapps present a cool decorating opportunity for those wanting to display them. To play the Tapp’s file, simply place it on the QLEEK device that connects via USB to any computer and the computer will automatically play the video, song, podcast, photo slideshow or any other kind of file the Tapp contains. For early-birds, the QLEEK device and five Tapps only costs $179 or a regular price of $249 with estimated delivery in December 2014. QLEEK is striving for a $70,000 goal in a 31-day campaign on Indiegogo.

Connected Objects Imaging

Famatic tries tapping into the senior market with a cloud-connected photo viewer

The Premise. There’s nothing that grandparents love more than photos of their grandkids. Photo sharing these days is easy with the Internet and social media, but grandparents are notorious for having trouble using these new technologies. From a distance, sharing photos with older people can be difficult.

The Product. Famatic is a digital picture frame with an added touch screen bonus. People can share photos via wi-fi directly to the frame so that grandparents can enjoy a slideshow of new material right from their living room. The 8 GB device connects to Instagram, Facebook and e-mail as well so that people sharing on these platforms can easily upload their photos or videos to Famatic. The screen shows who shared the photo or video along with the caption and allows users to comment on each photo.

The Pitch. Famatic’s pitch begins with a charming video showing a family using the product with ease. It manages to use the same infomercial format that many campaigns use, but does so in a cute way that will make you laugh. The Famatic creators express an interest in the rest of the campaign to connect their product to more social media, including Flickr and Picasa. Famatic hopes to raise $75,000 in their 42-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. This-amped up digital frame from the Netherlands offers a $169 early-bird special for the U.S. which includes shipping and a $209 international early-bird special with shipping included for the EU. At its regular price, the Famatic frame costs Americans $189 and the rest of the world $229. The highest reward tier of $329 offers different color options for backers. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of October 2014.

The Potential. The glory days of the digital photo frame have faded in the wake of tablet popularity. However, cloud-connected frames have some potential. Prior to leaving the consumer imaging market, Kodak had some success with the Kodak Pulse More recently, Flink went the crowdfunding route for its cloud-connected picture viewer, but fell short in its campaign. That said, Famatic is a promising way to share photos with friends and families alike and will improve as its creators add to their product in the future.

Accents Connected Objects Imaging

Appnificent Eclipse digital frame shares shares photos with your social circles

The Premise. Sharing photos is something almost everybody likes to do. Doing so should be easily and unintrusive, combining the excitement of receiving a social media notification with the surprise of an unexpected gift.

The Product. The Appnificent Eclipse is an addition to the smart photo frame market that integrates the features that users are used to applying to their photos when sharing them through social media. This way, using the Eclipse app, owners can take photos, doctor them to make them more attractive, add messages or emoticons, and then share them only to invited users via their Eclipse frames, Twitter, Facebook, and Dropbox. The frame itself connects to a home wi-fi network with a simple push of a button and can hold up to 2GB of photos for viewing as static images or part of a slideshow.

The Pitch. Appnificent Co-Founder Rod Spongberg introduces us to the Eclipse, showcasing how easy it is to connect the frame to both a wireless network and users of the Eclipse app. The rest of the campaign’s site goes over how to use each of the Eclipses features, from applying filters and sharing to adding emoticons and messaging. Appnificent wants to raise $75,000 to handle the tooling and production of the Eclipse. At $100,000 a stretch goal to double the frame’s storage from 2GB to 4GB will be unlocked.

The Perks. The Eclipse is available to backers who pledge $115 in either Charcoal Grey or Optic White. The device is also available with a custom protective travel case at the $165 level. All frames will be delivered In August of this year.

The Potential. There have several digital photo frames posted to crowdfunding sites in the past, and the most common “new” feature is the ability to wirelessly send photos securely. In that, the Appnificent Eclipse offers little in terms of innovation, but what makes it attractive is the large, high-quality display and the Instagram-like features that can be selected through the app before sending out the photo. The Eclipse is a strong choice for anyone in the market for a digital photo frame, but doesn’t quite offer enough to make consumers want to replace their existing frame.

Connected Objects Imaging

Send real photos from anywhere in the world with LifePrint

The Premise. Photo sharing has never been easier with the growth and ease of using social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat. While it’s great to see photos of your family, friends, and favorite activities all around the world, almost all the photos we see are through a screen. Tangible photo albums and pictures are mostly things of the past because printing out high quality photos isn’t really convenient on a traditional home printer, and going to a convenience store just takes too much time.

The Product. The LifePrint is a compact wireless printer built for your smartphone that allows you to send and receive high-quality photo prints to anyone in the world instantly. Just like your typical social networks, you can connect to your family and friends who mean the most to you. But instead of posting it for them to “Like” on a computer screen, you can send them a picture they’ll love with the LifePrint. The sentiment of a hard copy photo is now much more accessible because the LifePrint only requires a cellular connection. A 3G connection is all that you need to open up the LifePrint app and print from anywhere in the world; it’s unclear what the monthly charge would be for the LifePrint’s connectivity.

The Pitch. LifePrint really pays close attention to the small details and the importance of visuals in its crowdfunding video. The video and the page show how the LifePrint is a portable and efficient way to make photos special again by making it clear how easy it is to share and receive photos with your network from anywhere in the world.

The Perks. There are two separate versions for Android and iPhone devices, but each costs the same at $99 for the early bird price. This is actually one of the better deals you can get on a portable photo printer, and especially one that has the capability to print anywhere like the LifePrint. That pledge comes with 10 photo prints, but if you want more, you can get the LifePrint with 100 photo prints for $145.

The Potential. LifePrint looks like a great bridge for sending photos to friends and family, particularly those who want something with a bit more permanence than a SnapChat product. The clunkier and more expensive LG PD233 Pocket Photo Printer and the Polaroid CZA-20011B PoGo Instant Mobile Printer both work over Bluetooth, which means your phone has to be in range in order to print a photo. However, other products that allow remote photo display and printing, such as the Presto printer and The LifePrint’s ability to connect people through photos means a lot more people will be hanging photos of their loved ones on their actual wall—not their Facebook wall.