Digital photo frames are a dime a dozen. Big brands battle with small Chinese companies to try and capture a market that is generally more trouble than it's worth. But the DIA from Parrot, designed with Jean-Louis Frechin from nodesign, is easily the most visually stunning and attractive digital photo frame ever built.
The DIA is packed full of technology. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are standard, while the body boasts two USB ports and an SD card slot. But the connectivity is only part of the offering. The biggest point of difference is that the designers decided to separate the frame's backlight from the front panel, giving the appearance of a lightbox. A quote from the press release sums it up nicely.
“Today, screens are all the same. So, with my partner Uros Petrevski, we had to find a different type of screen, without falling into the category of ‘do different just to be different’. We started to handle slide film, to dismantle screens, to play with transparency of light,” explains Jean-Louis Frechin. “DIA frame was born from the idea that it is impossible to represent a printed image on a photo frame. So our frame closely resembles slide film, with the quality of transparency, light and the format of professional ektachrome.”
10.4 inches of screen pop out at you, giving photos a 3D-like appearance, without looking dodgy. But the physical appearance of the box is only part of the appeal.
The DIA has a dedicated Holidays viewing mode, which will superimpose your geotagged photos on Google Maps. A dedicated free iOS app allows you to flick images from your phone or iPad directly at the frame, while a dedicated RSS mode lets you receive important information updates on the frame's screen.
And if all that doesn't tickle your fancy, the frame also runs Android, so you can use it as a dedicated 10-inch monitor for web browsing, or simply viewing photos from Flickr or Picasa. The frame also supports up to a dozen email addresses, so you can email pics to display automatically on the frame.
Sure, it costs $549, which is a lot of money for a photo frame. But it's not too high a premium over other 10-inch frames, although it is a significantly more attractive option. Gadget lust, thy name is DIA.