Photos to simple-cell organizers?
August 30, 2009 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Are there any digital photo frames out there that don't require direct phone line access, instead accessing the service via the cellular network?

I've seen questions about digital frames asked a number of times, but it seems that they do require a phone update, which might be problematic.

A number of users have suggested plug and go - but we can't always get up to update new pictures, and our scheme for mailing out new SD cards is not working out.

Does anyone have a Cameo device or word on anything else that might work to update remotely with as few end-user therbligs as possible? It's looking like I missed the boat on the Cameo here and the Peek turned out to be a bit more than they could handle. :(
posted by tilde to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think there are some wifi digital photo frames out there. Would that satisfy whatever your requirements are?
posted by hattifattener at 4:16 PM on August 30, 2009

Response by poster: Wifi is pretty much out as neither of them have Internet and we don't really want to pony up $60 bucks a month for each of them for an Internet connection they'll otherwise almost never use. We've got one on AOL right now (dial up) if I can get the computer fixed (something borked up; I should be bringing it home once a quarter to update but I never remember) but that's dial up, too.
posted by tilde at 5:00 PM on August 30, 2009

Response by poster: Looking at the Isabella, too, out in October. I guess if the Cameo is dead, that's the only option.
posted by tilde at 6:28 PM on August 30, 2009

Don't they have digital picture frames that you just plug a flash drive into?
posted by radioamy at 8:34 PM on August 30, 2009

Given how expensive the frames are, it seems that you could put an old or pentium-class PC behind an LCD for basically the same capital cost as a dedicated photo frame, though power consumption may be up a little. Run unix on it, install a 56k modem and you should be able to dial into the machine and get data to/from it that way. Needs a phone-line of course, but no internet subscription.
posted by polyglot at 9:34 PM on August 30, 2009

Best answer: Or have I misunderstood your question... your sites have no internet and no phone lines? Only cellular connections?

You can get cellular modems for PCs that plug into a USB port, but you will need to pay for a monthly data plan for that device and that will be tens of dollars. Probably costs as much as getting an ADSL connection.
posted by polyglot at 9:39 PM on August 30, 2009

Response by poster: Wi Fi won't solve it.

We don't wish to spend the $40 to $50 bucks a month to install DSL, and then fly up and set up a network (no one local to do it that wouldn't otherwise be horribly intrusive/expensive) just to run a computer and or network for a photo frame.

Phone line might solve it.

Ideally, someone (not us) will be visiting in the near term and can plug a device we've set up into the wall and the phone line. Current version of device is wall and SD card. SD card and Flash drive options are too complicated for the end users.

Cell-network based management looks possible, but all I see is Cameo (possibly not available) and Isabella (expensive continuously and not yet out) at this point.

On each side I've got a number of somewhat variously 'net savy grandkids sending pics of great grandkids. Simplist management puts everyone emailing to me, to turn around and reformat and send to G-mas. If a system can be coded to accept photos from a phone number as Cameo claims, I can code in evryone's phone number and even do less work.

I'm thinking that ten years into looking at/for these, there's still simply nothing really user friendly available.

Unlimited money and time available, I'd buy two tablet PCs, load a management system like GoToMyPc on them, set up DSL, and manage it remotely to be in 'screen saver' mode with pictures all the time.

Thanks to those who read through and proffered options. My guess is "give it five more years".
posted by tilde at 5:13 AM on August 31, 2009

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