November 6, 2008

T-Mobile’s Cameo Digital Frame Receives Pictures Via Text Message

A new line of digital picture frames is set to hit store shelves this holiday season, but this time they offer a new convenient feature that allows users to beam their images straight from their cell phone to the digital frame.

T-Mobile USA introduced the Cameo, with intentions to sell the frame for $100 beginning in mid-November.

The usual way to get photos to a digital frame is to copy them to a memory card, then walk over to the frame and insert the card in a slot. Computer geeks call this "Sneakernet," because the information travels as fast as your shoes.

The Cameo frame will offer the same memory card feature, but it will also feature a cellular modem that even has its own phone number.

These features allow users to snap a picture on their camera phone and send the picture via picture messaging straight to the frame from anywhere.

You can also send pictures to other people's frames, if they've told the frame to allow that.

Some other frames can connect to the Internet, usually through Wi-Fi. Once connected to your home wireless network, they can receive pictures via e-mail. And many phones can send e-mail with attached pictures.

At the price of $100, the frame is less expensive than other digital photo frames with comparable screens: a 7-inch diagonal and a resolution of 720 by 480 pixels.

Cameo will support both JPEG and GIF images, and can store up to 500 photos, while automatically adapting picture size to the screen.

What customers may object to is paying $10 per month on their T-Mobile bill just to enable the frame's features.

The frame will be sold exclusively in T-Mobile stores, and consumers must have a monthly voice plan with the company to buy the frame.

Then there's the issue of figuring out whether the network has coverage where you want to use the frame. This should be a problem only for a small number of users. The frame doesn't use a sophisticated data network, so anywhere you have voice coverage on T-Mobile should work. But it won't work where your T-Mobile phone roams on another network.

Other issues remain to be addressed before Cameo's in-store debut. For the most part, the frame shouldn't have a problem receiving images pictures sent from phones on other U.S. carriers.


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