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Wanted: Parrot, a Digital Frame That Actually Looks Good

Digital photo frames are the quintessence of cheesy futurism, which is why NoDesign made one that recalls an older, classier technology: the lightbox.

Wanted: Parrot, a Digital Frame That Actually Looks Good

Pity the digital photo frame: technology that was supposed to bring our vacation and wedding pictures to magical life on the mantel turned out to be something we guiltily regift to naive grandparents. (Don't lie, you know you've done it.) Still, there must be a non-cheesy way to liberate digital images from the invisible depths of our iPhoto libraries, somehow. The Parrot from NoDesign might just be it: a discreet frame that sucks in photos wirelessly and displays them in a glowing digital homage to a photographer's lightbox.


The Parrot's creators, Jean-Louis Frechin and Uros Petrevski, lament the fact that "today, all screens are the same." They wanted a frame that could display digital snapshots with all the vibrancy and subtlety of film transparencies or cinema screens, so they designed the Parrot so that its 10.4-inch LCD display and the light source illuminating it are on two layers physically separated by open space — like a studio lightbox in miniature.

parrot layers

parrot layers

The effect, say the designers, gives digital snaps "the quality of a digital Ektachrome® picture." (To non-photo-nerds, that means "really, really pretty.")

Of course, half the annoyance of digital photo frames comes from loading them up with pics in the first place — so Frechin and Petrevski made Parrot's interface as frictionless as possible. Recessed "buttons" on the top of the device keep the Parrot's digital functions discreet. It can ingest photos wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or you can use the USB or SD card ports.


parrot ports

NoDesign says the Parrot will be available to purchase in February... plenty of time to regift that Skymall-reject photo frame to an unsuspecting relative.

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