The digital picture frame category was once hugely popular, but has sunk into a funk in recent years as photo sharing has gone mobile.
The makers of Oko are hoping to drum up renewed interest in the category by offering new features and focusing on social network interactivity. For example, Oko will let users follow hashtags and enable the device to display the best pictures and videos that are uploaded on social media networks. Features planned for the near future include voice control and, in a future version of Oko, cloud storage.
The 10.1-inch picture frame displays in real time all the pictures and videos that family and friends send from their mobile phones. It works in conjunction with an Android and iOS app. Oko ships in May 2016 and will cost $150 at retail. Its makers have set a Kickstarter goal of raising $70,000 by July 27.
Oko may indeed be appealing to some consumers thanks to its wide variety of features. But there is still at least one fundamental cause for the declining interest in digital frames that no new frame — including this, Fireside or Pigeon — will likely be able to address, and that’s the ubiquity of tablets, which allow people to do many of the same things beyond hanging it on a wall.