So, Kodak asked me to check out their Pulse frame and being the tech geek/family man I am, I thought I would. After all, I really like digital frames and think they’re a great idea but beyond setting them up and letting them do their thing, I have to admit that I went into this thinking “beyond the initial setup, what function will it serve in my home beyond taking up space?” I mean, of course, it’s a picture frame but I don’t travel too often without my family and we all have cellphones with pictures on them so what purpose does it really serve FOR ME. When I told my wife the compelling purpose I found for it, it was one of those “lightbulb” moments where I knew I had a winner!
First, The Specs
- 7 in. (17.8 cm) high-quality digital photo display
- Receive pictures via e-mail, Facebook and Kodak Gallery sites. Quick comment feature for Facebook.
- Wi-Fi enabled
- 512 MB of internal memory
- USB port and 2 card slots to add pictures from other sources
- Built-in activity sensor turns the frame on when you’re nearby and conserves energy when you’re not
When the Kodak Pulse arrived at my home, I was giddy as I love playing with gadgets. I’m like a kid in a candy shop! So, I ripped the box open which went pretty fast because there really wasn’t much in the box to begin with (which is actually a great thing… more on that in a moment). When you crack open the box, you’ll find the frame, microfiber (great touch including one!), power adapter and plug and quick-start guide. That’s it! Personally, that’s all you need and should have in a box. I mean, this is a picture frame, not a stargaze and though you may be able to use to to “travel” to other places through photos, it shouldn’t require a degree in quantum mechanics and astrophysics to set it up.
Once I removed the frame from it’s plastic wrap and plugged it in, it was one of the simplest gadgets to configure that I’ve used in quite a while. I powered it up, it searched for my wireless network (it only works with wi-fi… no ethernet here), and because I have a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) gateway, I only had to push one button on the front of the device for my Pulse frame to connect with it and that was it! That was all the set up I HAD to do with the frame. Now, granted there are some other features you can configure to your liking such as the ability to have the frame automatically turn on or off at specified times of day, the duration that pictures stay on the screen for and a few other odds and ends. But, if you didn’t want to do any of that, this piece of tech really is “plug and play.”
After you’ve connected to your home network, the next step is to hit the ol’ computer, go online and set up your Kodak Pulse account with the activation code you received from the frame after finishing the last step in the hardware set up. Setting up your online account is as painless as configuring the frame itself! You just create a username and password, along with minimal personal info, answer a couple questions about the use of the frame and then you are given options to upload pics from your computer, or via a special email address you create which allows people to email pictures directly to the frame, connect to your Facebook account and/or plug a USB flash drive or Memory Stick/MMC/SD/SDHC or xD-Picture cards directly into the frame around back. Within minutes I was uploading about 50 pictures from my laptop and had connected the frame to my Facebook account. The pictures even began showing up on the frame and the slideshow was playing before all 50 had finished uploading!
All-in-all, I would highly recommend the Kodak Pulse to anyone looking for a digital picture frame for their home but for me, I found an even more poignant use… my mother. I know that Father’s Day is coming up and this last point actually applies quite well for those of you with dads who live in another state who would like to see the kids more often but for me, it’s my mom. My parents divorced when I was in high school and my dads still lives in the same county while my mother moved a couple states over. We don’t see her as often as I’d like so I’ll be sending this frame to her! My mother is a Donna Reid archetype. She was the stay-at-home mom who always had delightful snacks ready for us when we got home from school. She took us to the park where we were part of the swim team and would ride our bikes around when there was no practice. She was, is, an amazing woman and I know how much it breaks her heart that she can’t be more a part of her grandchildren’s live due to the distance so I think her having this frame in her home, connected to my Facebook account which always has new pictures of the kids and then giving the kids the frame’s email address so that when they take funny pictures with their phones, they an email them to grandma’s picture frame would be the best use of this technology for my family. For my mom, it will be an organically updating window into the lives of her grandchildren which, I hope, will help her feel more connected even though she’s a couple thousand miles away. With Father’s Day coming up, why don’t you consider doing the same for your dad?
The 7″ Kodak Pulse pictured here can be purchase right now at this link: http://kodak.ly/iVb4Hc Right now it’s $179 with free shipping.
Full disclosure: I was provided Kodak Pulse frame for this review. The opinions contained are mine as it will take a few million dollars to get me to fudge any review for a product that’s garbage. And if I ever do, it will be the last review I write, so remember that and you’ll know I lied when I say at the end of said fudged review, “this, by the way, will be my last review.” :P