Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Isabella launches Vizit Wireless Photo Frame at CES09

Guess what, the first product demonstration I went to at this year's CES is a wireless photo frame from a Boston, MA-based start-up company Isabella Products. It unveiled its first photo frame product at a media event inside Venetian. Featuring a 10.4-inch 800x600 touch screen LCD panel, the Vizit boasts a quad-band GSM/GPRS connection to its server that can send photo feeds to the photo frame. Matthiew Growney, CEO of Isabella, emphasized at the demo that the product is targeting people who will buy the photo frame for their parents and help them set up connection. The Vizit features a carousel-like user menu design that rotates with a touch on the panel. Matthiew also mentioned that the GPRS modem is built into the base of the frame so that the company can upgrade the LCD panel without the need to replace the base. The design can also be adapted to other Isabella products in its pipeline, I was told.



Of course, the connectivity on the frame allows users to share photos and social networking via photos on the device, for instance, RSS from PhotoBucket or Flickr. The company offers a widget application on users' PC. I interpret it as a photo managment solution so that gift givers can manage photos on behalf of the gift receivers. Not much details about the future features were revealed at this event, and the company told me that more features leveraging the connectivity would become available as the market evolves.


The frame is priced at $299 plus a subscription fee at $5-7 per month. Given the GPRS function, the company counts on the operator market as a major distribution channel. But it is also looking at direct distribution channels through Vizitime.com and other online retailers, and it will likely follow the Kindle model to offer a pre-packaged data plan to go with the hardware.

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