Wundershine ‘smart’ frames are like an instant Polaroid for wall art

wundershine uses instant photo approach framing wall art hero dt
Changing wall art can be a hassle, but a Dutch company called Wundershine is aiming to make it an easier chore via a new framing system, combining both analog and digital technologies to create a seamless process.

Wundershine’s concept revolves around a 17 x 7-inch wooden frame – called the Reframe – with a 9 x 9-inch opening, and unlike an LCD digital photo frame that display digital images, Reframe contains an “automatic transport mechanism,” which is basically a mechanical rolling system that lets you feed – from the top – standard-sized, printed photos or artwork. The frame is battery-powered, and it’s as easy to hang on a wall as regular frames. Wundershine says the battery lasts 200 “reframes” before it needs to be recharged.

When it’s time to change out the print, the old print spits out from the bottom when the new one is fed. The prints are made using thermal color printing, which heats special paper to reveal the color molecules that are embedded.

You can add images to your Wundershine queue, either from your smartphone’s camera roll or services like Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr.

Unfortunately, because it uses special paper and thermal printing, you can’t create your own art using an inkjet printer at home. You will need to order prints from the company by adding digital images into a queue, using Wundershine’s app for iOS or Android (this is where the analog technology meets digital).

The company claims its solution is simple because all prints are standard-sized and it is easy to swap out images at a whim, compared to traditional method of having to size your art and removing the backing, etc. Wundershine says it is a better alternative to LCD picture frames, which it says are small, expensive, cumbersome, and power hungry. It says thermal prints are also cleaner than ones made with ink.

The app supports JPEG, PNG, and GIF files, and while you can upload images of any dimension, the app provides a template for cropping the image into a perfect square. (Since it’s printed artwork, you should upload high-resolution images; the app supports files up to 5MB.) You can also tap into your Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr accounts from the Wundershine app, and a planned store lets you buy premium or free content (you can also create your own art using any third-party app, and export it into the Wundershine app). At launch, Wundershine says the system will be optimized for the smartphone apps, but it plans to offer a Web app as well. Each Reframe comes with a 10-free-prints coupon, and each subsequent print costs $2.

Besides printing your own photos and artwork, you can buy premium or free content from Wundershine’s store.

Reframe is Wundershine’s affordable system, but it’s also developing a DIY version that puts a thermal printer inside the frame, and letting you print instantly. Called the Makerframe, it is essentially the Reframe but with the printer and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth networking capabilities. From the app queue, you can send a print job from a smartphone, and Makerframe will print the image onto blank paper ($20 for a pack of 10 sheets, $50 for three packs) you feed into it. The battery can handle 50 prints before it needs to be recharged. Wundershine is also working on a remote management feature, allowing you to, say, send a print to relatives’ Makerframe (all they need to do is feed the paper). And because the color molecules are in the paper, it doesn’t require inks. However, the Makerframe is still in development, and Wundershine says it won’t ship until 2016.

Wundershine consists of two different frames, both using an automated feeding system. Reframe (left) lets you swap out artwork you order from Wundershine, while the Makerframe (right) has a built-in color thermal printer that lets you print instantly.

If you like Wundershine’s instant wall art concept, you can preorder either frame now. Reframe costs $60, and is available in natural, whitewash, and black wood. It will ship in fall 2015. Makerframe costs $180, and is available in the same finishes, but, again, it won’t ship until 2016. The frames also come with colored cardboard boxes that let you archive prints. The preorder prices are for early adopters, and will increase to $86 and $258 at retail, respectively.

Smart Home

The future of food could make kitchens and grocery stores obsolete

Will we be 3D printing our food in 20 years? Will grocery stores as we know them disappear? The 2018 Smart Kitchen Summit included a lot of wild predictions about the future of cooking.

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Emerging Tech

This 3D-printed house made of earth and rice husks costs less than an iPhone

Italian 3D-printing company WASP has just demonstrated the 3D printing of a hut structure using a combination of 3D-printed concrete and a mud-based material. All for around $1,000.
Emerging Tech

You’re so vein: Palm-based biometric system could help confirm your identity

Move over, Face ID! The next biometric security systems could rely on analyzing the unique vein patterns in your palm print. Here are some of the ways the technology could prove useful.

Photography News: A ‘bombproof’ camera bag, Nikon D850 gets firmware fix

Mountainsmith calls its latest photography backpack designed with photographer Chris Burkard "bombproof." Nikon has launched a new firmware update for the D850 that fixes a rare bug. Snapchat's camera can now recognize cats.
Social Media

Want internet immortality? Here's how to make the best memes

From Bad Luck Brian to Overly Attached Girlfriend, there's no shortage of memes in the world. But, there's always room for one more. Here's a quick rundown of memes and a guide on how to make your own.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

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!

How to take great photos with the iPhone XS, Apple’s finest camera phone yet

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max feature the best cameras yet seen on an Apple smartphone, ready for you to get out and take great photos. Here's our guide to help ensure each shot you take is a winner.

Protect your gear on the go with the 15 best camera bags for every budget

A camera is an investment worth protecting. That's why we've rounded up the best camera bags. Whether you need a rugged backpack to take into the backcountry or a leather messenger that's as luxurious as it is capable, there's a backpack…

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…

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.

NYPD pulls thousands of body cams after one explodes

The NYPD has recalled thousands of body cameras after one of them exploded during an officer's shift on Sunday, October 21. No one was injured in the incident, which is thought to have been caused by the device's battery.

Protect yourself (and maybe capture something crazy) with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

8 weird, useful camera accessories for your iPhone or Android

With the rise of smartphone cameras comes an explosion of accessories aimed at enhancing your photography skills. Here, we take a look at a few, from add-on grips to entire camera units designed specifically to work with iOS devices.