The popularity of digital photo frames has really shot up over the last couple of years or so. During the 2008 Festive season, they were one of the most popular gift choices. There were significant price cuts during 2008 – initially due to reductions in the cost of the materials and parts and later, in the last six months of the year, due to price positioning by the main manufacturers and retailers. However, whilst lower prices were probably a key factor if the increased popularity of these frames, this does not full explain the increased acceptance of them.
The technical features available are also unlikely to account for the increased popularity of digital frames. Slideshows, background music, remote controls etc. – all good stuff, but not likely to be at, or even near, the top of the list of desired features for your mother or grandmother – who are in the group of people most likely to receive a digital frame as a gift.
Electronic frames are no longer the preserve of early adopters and gadget freaks. They have entered the mainstream consumer items market and are considerably more presentable as a consequence. Earlier models tended to be shiny metallic or black constructions – but it is now possible to get frames with removable surrounds which can be selected to suit the ambient decor in your home. Whilst that would go some way towards improving their mass market appeal, it still doesn’t explain their new found popularity.
The key factor that makes these frames such ideal gifts is the ease with which they can be customized before being handed over and also the ability to update the frame and its contents in future. Plenty people will take a little time – and only a few minutes are required – to load a few photos of family and friends, children, holiday snaps, whatever into the frame’s memory prior to handing their gift over. It means that they aren’t handing over some high spec electronic device – that nicely wrapped gift box contains a whole bunch of happy memories.
And that’s not all. After the next family celebration, holiday, anniversary, etc. a memory card with a whole selection of new photos on it can be passed on. It’s like a photographic family news bulletin. Many of the newer frames incorporate Wi-Fi functionality – so you can even update photo collections without needing to use a memory stick.
Admittedly, we have come full circle back to the technical aspects now. But only since it facilitates the truly important thing – the sharing of shared memories.