Digital FOCI's PhotoBook is a modern version of the venerable photo album. However, because it is digital, it can do so much more! Like a non-digital version, the PhotoBook can display photos. Unlike its non-digital counterpart, it can play music during the slideshow and play video.
The digital PhotoBook can also zoom into any portion of an image. This is an especially handy feature as most cameras can take photos at a much higher resolution than most displays can show. The ability to "dynamically crop" a photo is definitely cool. Of course, it would be nice if there was some way to "remember" the crop, but unfortunately not in this version :-) The great thing about the digital PhotoBook is the software is upgradeable.
Digital FOCI's UI was very easy to navigate. The response is fast and intuitive. It only took about a minute to put together a slideshow. All of the buttons were backlit for visibility. Personal music may be added to the unit for playback during the slideshow.
The obvious next evoluton is a touch screen so selection and page turning will be more natural. Colored e-paper would also allow multiple pages in a single album. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves. When those technologies are available, we are sure Digital FOCI will put it together into a nice, affordable, package. In the meantime, this digital photo album has all of the fundamental features to let us share our images in ways never before possible.
Viewing images right off a camera's memory card in the PhotoBook was very simple. All the popular flash memory formats are supported (CF, SD, etc...). It was pretty much plug-n-play: click on the memory card icon, select the image, hit OK, and view.
SD memory cards are inexpensive. A 1GB card cost just a few dollars. Digital FOCI's PhotoBook makes it so easy to view digital photos that it may make more sense to leave the images on the SD memory cards permanently. Folks may just buy new cards like they used to do with film. In fact, Digital FOCI should add SD card pockets on the inside of the PhotoBook cover. Companies like Lexar and Sandisk should give away PhotoBooks with a bulk purchase of SD cards! If Kodak was on the ball, they would have bought flash memory makers a year ago when their stocks were 1/10 of their current value and get into the "digital film" business :-)
Some readers may remember the scene at the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone where Hagrid gives Harry a photo album. The album was full of images from when Harry was a little boy. The magical thing about the photo album was that all the images in the photos were moving. When we first saw that photo album, we thought...that possibility is not too far off. It seems we were correct. Click on the image below to see what we mean. The resolution of our little movie is kind of low because we down-sampled the video file to shorten the download time. The quality of the video on the actual PhotoBook is MUCH higher.
The Digital FOCI PhotoBook is one of the best uses of LCD display in a consumer product we have seen this year. If you are looking to create truly unique gift for someone special this holiday season, think about making a multimedia photo album using this Digital FOCI PhotoBook. We think it will be a huge hit! [Permalink] - Digital FOCI: PhotoBook FirstUse