Few of us can afford to display museum- and gallery-quality fine art on our walls, but you can put on an ever-changing exhibition with the Acanvas cloud-connected picture frame. Undergoing what looks to be a successful Kickstarter campaign (as of this writing, it had raised $88,000 of its $100,000 goal), the Acanvas is a battery-powered, 23 inch portrait display that connects to your Wi-Fi network and, optionally, to an art-curation service.
The manner in which the Acanvas charges its battery is almost as interesting as the device itself. When the battery runs low and sensors indicate that you're away from home or that is night, a puck automatically drops down from the bottom of the cable to a charging cradle that you plug into the wall below it. When its battery is fully charged, the puck automatically retracts and disappears behind the frame.
You can subscribe to an Art Stations service ($10 per month, with a one-year subscription included during the crowd-funding campaign) to access a database of millions of paintings, drawings, and photographs. The Acanvas developers liken Art Stations to Pandora, since you can customize the stream by "liking" and "disliking" the art that's displayed. You can also upload your own photos and images using a smartphone app.
“With Acanvas, interior design and technology come together to bring millions of works of art to empty walls everywhere,” said CEO and co-founder Dan Lee.
The display can be surrounded by a black-brown or silver frame—both with white matting—or you can mount it without a frame if you’d like. Multiple displays can be linked, so that you can split and image across multiple frames.
Acanvas is set to launch in the fourth quarter of this year at a retail price of $499; Kickstarter backers, however, can snag the frame for $399 while spots last (other incentives are also available).
Why this matters: Yes, the digital picture frame refuses to die. Still, we find the Acanvas to be an innovative concept. It's much more of an artistic centerpiece than a way for grandma to keep up with the grandkids. The planned retail price of $500 is a bit steep, but considering how much original art costs, it could be a good value.
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