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9/17/2008
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Kodak Unveils Ultra-Thin Wireless Digital Photo Frame

The 7.6-inch OLED frame can display pictures and video from PCs, photo-sharing sites, and news portals.


Kodak OLED Wireless Digital Photo Frame

Kodak OLED Wireless Digital Photo Frame
(click for larger image)

Eastman Kodak on Wednesday introduced an ultra-thin wireless digital photo frame with an organic light emitting diode screen that the company claims has greater color depth and saturation than the more common liquid crystal displays.

The frame, which will be shown next week at the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany, has a 7.6-inch screen and built-in Wi-Fi support. The device is capable of displaying pictures and video and playing music from a PC, Kodak said. In addition, the frame can connect to online photo- and video-sharing sites, as well as portals for news, weather, sports, and other content.

Along with its wireless capabilities, Kodak claims the frame's OLED screen, which has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, gives the product an advantage over competitors. OLEDs emit light of different colors. As a result, screens made with the technology do not need a backlight like traditional LCD screens. In addition, OLED displays use less power and are thinner than LCD screens.

Kodak claims its OLED screen, in conjunction with its proprietary technology, produces "stunning image detail regardless of viewing angle." The device includes an ambient light sensor that adjusts display brightness based on the surrounding light.

"Our new OLED frame foreshadows a dynamic future of an exciting new generation of Kodak products that deliver unsurpassed image quality and unprecedented clarity and color," Pete Jameson, general manager of the digital devices group at Kodak, said in a statement.

Other features include a USB port for uploading images and videos from digital cameras, memory cards, or USB drives. The frame includes 2 GB of storage and ships with Kodak software for editing and moving content from a PC to the frame.

Kodak plans to make the OLED Wireless Frame available through U.S. retailers in November. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $999, which is far more expensive than competing products. Basic 7-inch digital photo frames, which don't have Wi-Fi support, are available on Amazon.com for as little as $50. Kodak competitors include Sony, Philips, Westinghouse, and Polaroid.

While it has taken time for digital photo frames to win over consumers, the market has begun to heat up. Global shipments are expected to increase to 22.7 million units this year, up by 58.8% from last year, according to researcher iSuppli. The devices were introduced in 2005.

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