Re: Ceiva experiences anyone?

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From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 18:39:42 PST

Matt Jensen wrote:
> Jim,
> I know someone who gave a device like this to the grandparents when the
> grandchild was born. The grandparents love it. The downside is that they
> expect fresh pictures every day. (I'll forward this to my friend in case
> he has extra comments.)

I had a distributor that was trying to sell this to me several months ago. I
looked at it then and like it, but with twin problems of price and LCD viewer
I wouldn't buy it.

I saw a product at the CES show that was less developed, but possibly points
to a better solution: use the TV for viewing in a very inexpensive box. They
had a small box with a floppy and video output that sold for $99. They also
sold reference designs, which they mentioned when I pointed out that a CDrom
was more interesting.

Adding a modem to it and following the Ceiva model is even better.

My point is that a less than perfect LCD (which is expensive anyway) is
probably not as good as TV output, especially for vision challenged elderly

Odd that they were so enamoured of LCD vs. video out. I would have produced
two models initially or even the video version first.


> -Matt Jensen
> Seattle
> On Tue, 9 Jan 2001, Jim Whitehead wrote:
> > Has anyone on FoRK had any experience with the Ceiva device?
> >
> >
> >
> > The Ceiva is a small, dedicated picture frame that shows digital pictures
> > that it downloads from the service. It seems ideal for my
> > family situation, where I have remote Grandparents who have a difficult time
> > using new technology (e.g., are confused by the UI to a microwave oven), and
> > hence would not be able to handle the complexity of a WebTV. Yet, I would
> > still like to be able to take digital pictures of my daughter and have them
> > be able to see those pictures very quickly. Cost is moderate ($250 for the
> > unit, $50/year for the service), but gives me hope they might be in business
> > 2 years from now (I can see them actually making money at these rates).
> >
> > My biggest concern is that, since they are so gadget-shy, I would have to
> > set it up for them the next time I visit. But, if it ever got even slightly
> > misconfigured, it would prove very difficult to get it set back up again
> > (like, it wouldn't work until I could visit again). It sounds like it has a
> > battery backup, so a simple powerfail wouldn't take it out. But, one wonders
> > about other failure modes such as suspectibility to static shock, etc.
> >
> > I'll probably end up trying it out, but it'd be nice to hear experience
> > reports first....
> >
> > - Jim
> >

Stephen D. Williams         Insta, Inc./Jabber.Com, Inc./CCI
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax  Dec2000

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