Nikon plans a 3D Android-based digital photo frame

Posted by Mike Luttrell

We gotta get our hands on one of these. Not only is this digital picture frame using a customized version of Android, it can also convert any standard 2D digital image file into 3D.

You won't even need glasses to see 3D here. It uses the same technology, known as autostereoscopic 3D, that allows the 3DS and other digital photo frames to present visuals with the perception of depth. It's achieved by incorporating thousands of tiny mirrors into the display itself to make it appear as though the flat screen isn't really flat.

Nikon is trying something a bit different, though, which probably won't sit too well with most consumers. It's going to charge a monthly fee for the 3D conversion service. If you pay $25 a month, you'll be able to view all your favorite 2D photos in 3D. But if you don't, that feature will be disabled.

It'll be rolled into the company's online service called myPicturetown, which gives users access to cloud-based photo storage.

It goes to show that the functionality must be pretty expensive from Nikon's end, and maybe this will lead to a lower up-front price for the device - which has not been announced.

Either way, the idea of using Android to power something so seemingly simple as a digital photo frame demonstrates how versatile it is. Users will be able to connect to the Internet and search through their photos using specific key words, or search parameters like the date the pictures was taken. It runs on Android 2.1.

The display is 7.2 inches on this unit, the NF-300i. It's currently only scheduled for launch in Japan. The company will assumedly test the waters for the fee-based system there before deciding whether or not to bring it to the US.