I recently purchased a Kodak Easyshare Wireless Digital Picture Frame off woot for an amazing price of $49.99. Infact, I bought two. The model number is W820, which is an 8″ frame, but there is also a 10 inch version as well. These picture frames have built in WiFi and can grab content off the internet.
The most exciting part about this picture frame has nothing to do with putting an SD card full of baby pictures, and everything to do with adding fun widgets to your photo roll! Facebook status updates, facebook photos, tweets, news, weather, live sports scores, flickr accounts, and the ability to have it make use nearly any RSS feed. Oh, and it shows baby pictures too I guess in the mix, if thats what you want.
The widgets are powered by FrameChannel, which is a sort of third party service that provides this functionality to Kodak picture frames everywhere. You setup an account with a special secret code that is shown on your picture frame (which nobody is supposed to have access to, otherwise they could load content on your frame before you even take it out of the box), and then you are off to widget building land where you can construct a slideshow based on time of day and frequency of display.
However, deep on the website i noticed this little innocent piece of information:
What’s this at the bottom? Some strange little RSS URL?
Well, lets just plug it in and see what happens:
Look, its an RSS feed of what my picture frame is showing now! I can send this nice URL to everyone I know so they can look at all my private content I have configured for this device. Now, under no circumstances would I recommend changing the last digits of this MAC address frame ID to another number….because you would get someone else’s picture frame content. Why would you want to do that?
UPDATE: 1/6/2010 It is quite apparent that FrameChannel is no longer interested in providing the public RSS feature to its customers. As other people have indicated, the RSS URL has been removed from the user interface. In addition, they are filtering by User-Agent. I am sure that will put an end to sharing of my RSS feed of my frame because User-Agents are impossible to fake. No word if they intend to update firmware for the “AVOS/1.1″-based device.
Slashdot has coined this feature documented on the web interface a “major privacy/security issue” and some discussion has ensued on the forum: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/01/05/0413228/Kodak-Wireless-Picture-Frames-Open-To-Public.
UPDATE: 6/21/2011 Regretfully, FrameChannel has informed its users that their year old WiFi internet-connected picture frame is now completely obsolete. With all these initiatives of putting everything in the cloud, I am sure we will see more of this crap.
Yeah, ‘due to the economy’, I may not be able to afford to store the kilobytes this blog post contains much longer. Maybe their economic challenges rest in the fact that there was no business model to begin with.