Digital picture frames give way to smart frames: Aura curates your best photos

The digital picture frame’s poor resolution, bulky cords, and constant uploads sent it to the realm of technology’s afterthoughts, but could a smart frame with instant updates, smart curation, and sharing capabilities bring this dated decor tech out of the gadget graveyard? Aura thinks so.

Aura is, yes, a digital picture frame, but the tech inside the 8 x 10-inch border indicates that “smart frame” might be a better title. Wi-Fi allows the Aura to automatically upload the photos that you shoot with your smartphone — but few people probably want to share every single blurry or repeated image on their phone. That’s where Aura is really different.

Aura uses a number of different methods to create photo collections automatically. Facial detection determines who you like to take pictures of the most. The Aura app will also avoid low contrast images, photos that are blurry, and duplicate photos, if you happen to favor burst mode. And to avoid some potentially embarrassing situations, the software also detects nudity and keeps it off your walls.

Besides picking the best shoots from your camera roll, the Aura redefines photo sharing — multiple users can send images to the frame, which means grandparents who aren’t social media savvy can easily see new images of their growing brood by connecting family smartphones together. Aura says only those invited to use the frame have the ability to add images.

The Aura also does away with the traditional low quality screen, using a retina display with auto dimming, so the screen’s intensity matches the time of day. The frame’s built-in motion sensor will also turn the frame off when no one is in the room to conserve energy.

The Aura appears to have some pretty impressive tech inside — but the smart frame also comes with a not-so-pretty price tag: $399. The frame comes with both a tabletop stand and a wall mount, though the power cord could be an issue with the latter.

Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Photography

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.