This 4K display turns digital art into an analog experience (and that’s OK)

4k display turns digital art analog experience thats ok depict frame 1

We love looking at art, and we have plenty of it on our walls in our homes. But the one thing we don’t love is having to replace them when we get bored of something. Which is why the Depict Frame is exciting. It’s a huge 4K digital display designed to showcase art you’ve created or purchased, which you can easily change through an iOS app.

The 50-inch display has a native resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, which is the standard for 4K Ultra HD. However, it isn’t a television, so don’t expect to tune into your favorite show. Think of it like a tabletop digital photo frame, but the extremely high resolution makes digital paintings and photography resemble more like those in museums rather than a digital signage (perfect for cameras that can shoot 4K photos). The large physical size also gives the artwork more impact. Because it supports animated GIFs, you can display moving art too.

But the Depict Frame doesn’t want viewers to know that it’s a digital screen. Its industrial designers intentionally made it to resemble a regular framed art – digital meets analog. The frame is made out of natural birch wood. All the electronics are hidden, and there are no ports or anything to worry about, except the power cord. Once it’s hung on a wall (you can also leave it on a floor, if that’s what the decorator in you prefers), it can easily pivot from landscape to portrait.

Digital art displays aren’t new, but Depict’s frame was created to work with the Depict iOS app and service.. Within the app, you can browse for a variety of art, many costing as low as $8 each. Depict adds digital watermarks to each piece, so it sort of makes them exclusive to Depict users. Once it’s purchased, you simply “cast” the art to the Frame. Depict says the app will be updated to allow Frame owners to cast their own art or photos.

Attendees at the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair recently had a chance to see the Frame is use. Depict partnered with artist Rashaad Newsome to debut his latest digital artwork, ICON. For the rest of us, Depict is taking preorders now for delivery in June 2015.

At $1,800, the Frame is pricey for a limited-purpose item (naturally, some of the Frame’s first buyers are the well-heeled of Silicon Valley). And, sure, one must wonder about power consumption. But for those of us who can’t afford the Frame, we can turn our regular big-screen TVs into one. With Chromecast or Apple TV, you can use the Depict app to cast art to the screen, just as you would with the Frame. Unless it’s a 4K TV, you may not get the same visual experience out of a Full HD display, but it’s a cheaper solution using something you already own.