In theory, digital photo frames were supposed to be the picture frame of the future. In reality, however, the tech has yet to actually break out, plagued by a constant need to be plugged in, painfully miniature screens, and an awfully poor UI.
Enter the Santa Clara-based production company Acanvas and its self-titled, cord-free streaming platform of the future, which launched today on Kickstarter. With Acanvas, no longer will anyone have to choose between hanging a Picasso or showing off their grandkids — the device allows its users to seamlessly change its display with but a few prompts on a smartphone. Now who said digital frames were lame?
“We want to bring millions of pieces of art into the home, in a simple and elegant way, with a frame that is easy to hang and as customizable as the art it houses,” reads the Kickstarter campaign. “Acanvas is the art display for the home.”
Under the hood, Acanvas utilizes a unique companion application called Art Stations (essentially a Pandora for art) which has the ability to stream a variety of different artistic pieces across a handful of genres. Conversely, users also have the option of simply casting an image of their choosing onto the frame. In terms of aesthetics, the Acanvas is capable of being hung either by itself, with a black-brown or silver matted frame from the company itself, or any custom frame a user desires.
Perhaps its most innovative — and slightly creepy — feature is how the device boasts the ability to charge itself as its battery starts depleting. With its built-in, self-powered retractable cord, the Acanvas automatically lowers a charger into a companion charge station to replenish its onboard battery. Users have the option of setting this unique charge capability to operate while they are away or they can make use of the device’s darkness-sensing technology, which lowers the charge cable after detecting when the lights are off (aka everyone’s asleep).
“Acanvas’ self-charging system ensures the charger and the charging station always make a solid connection,” continues the campaign page. “We wanted Acanvas to blend into the background as a permanent piece of home decor, so the motorized system is quiet and moves smoothly and deliberately.”
As of this writing, the Acanvas campaign has raised just over $11,000 in funding toward its $100,000 goal. Early bird adopters have the option of purchasing this innovative frame for just $299, roughly $200 off the suggested retail value of the frame once it hits production. Moreover, Kickstarter backers also get one free year of the Art Stations service (a $120 value), which allows them to freely access the deep library of offered artwork anytime, anywhere.