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May 25, 2006

WSA: Intelligent picture frames

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 10:51 AM

A Living Picture, which is developing "intelligen"t picture frames, is one of the companies at the WSA Investment Forum to meet investors and raise money.

The Seattle company couldn't have better timing. It is still coming down from its high of being mentioned during Bill Gates' keynote presentation at earlier this week at WinHEC, the hardware engineering conferece, said Jesse Grindeland, A Living Picture's president and chief operating officer.

A Living PIcture is working with Microsoft to enable WIndows slideshow capabilities on photo frames for the launch of Windows Vista.

At the investment forum, being held at Bell Harbor, the company showed off digital picture frames that connect to computers and flip through a number of photos on your harddrive. The frame also shows other information, such as the current weather forecast or caller ID when a phone call comes in.

Grindeland said his product passes the mom test. He sent his mother one and he controls it from his house by sending new photos of the grandchildren to it whenever he wants.

The frame is surprisingly smart. It comes with Windows CE operating system that connects to the computer using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, infrared or USB. It also can be connected directly to a camera and supports seven types of memory cards.

The funding the company is seeking today is for supporting orders, which Grindeland says are already in place in Europe, Canada and the U.S. He said the product will launch in October through partnerships with unnamed retailers, digital camera manufactuers and PC manufacturers.

A 5 x 7-in. picture frame costs $150 and a 6 x 9 in. costs $250.

A Living Picture will present today between 1:30 and 2:45 p.m. to Paul Bialek of Frazier Technology Ventures and Shawn Carolan of Menlo Ventures. Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital will moderate.

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Tricia Duryee
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