I’ve always been a big fan of ambient displays of information as a non-intrusive way of keeping up with the river of information that flows through our lives. Screensavers and scrolling images are one method which shows promise and in our new broadband, always-on world. PointCast was popular because people liked the concept but it was killed by IT departments because it was a bandwidth hog when bandwidth was still scarce.
eStarling makes an LCD screen that, once programmed via its USB port, can update itself via Wi-Fi. It accepts images from email or a Flickr RSS feed. The memory holds up to 30 pictures that are cycled through until new photos replace the older ones.
- Give one to the grandparents and set up an email account for the device. Have the family email the lastest photos of the kids. You can configure trusted email accounts to keep photos of viagra bottles from making it into rotation.
- Search a tag or group you like on Flickr, (ie. clouds or squared circle) and have the photo frame subscribe to the latest images.
UPDATE: Niall points to a similar device that boasts a larger screen and can connect to other PCs on a home network.