Digital Picture Frame Plans and Aesthetic

I am well on my way to creating a digital picture frame for my final project. Because I have my idea fairly set, I will use this post to talk about the aesthetic I will be applying as well as the progress I have made rather than focusing on the alternatives.  I have touched on the fact that this picture frame will be a gift for my father, who is a very active guy, and who has been asking for a picture frame for some time now. My intent is to give him a digital picture frame that is not only functional, but that takes on an aesthetic that is meaningful to him. At the same time though I want the design of the frame to be simple so as not to distract from the pictures that it will be displaying. I will be applying the outdoor and active lifestyle aesthetic to the frame by creating a 2 inch wooden border around each side of the screen. On each length of the border I will be an engraving of a different image that holds some general meaning to my dad. On the top will be the mountains, on the right side a sailboat, on the left will be the state of New York and on the bottom will be a man fly fishing.

Beyond thinking of ways to apply the aesthetic I have also started ordering components for my project. Last week I ordered, and this week I received a Raspberry Pi-4 computer, a 10.1″ DFrobot display, a battery and several different HDMI connectors.  Over the next week I plan to start working on the code to get the picture part of my frame working. Once that is completed I will begin the CAD process to create housing for all of the components, and will start on the design of the frame part of the frame. For this project I really think my implementation of the aesthetic will be informed a bit by how the product needs to be functionally assembled, for that reason I will be prioritizing getting the software and hardware working first! Stay tuned for more cool updates!


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Jake,

    I really enjoy this project, largely due to the wholesomeness of it. Putting that aside, I think the wood would match the outdoorsy aesthetic of the images you presented at the top. What wood do you plan on using to engrave? Are certain woods more applicable for the aesthetic you’re going for?

    • I need to use a lighter wood so that will develop a darker burn when I engrave it so I will likely go with some sort of maple. Then I will put some light colored stain or sealant on it to finish it out.

  • Michael Burns
    March 21, 2021 10:35 am

    Hi Jake,

    This is such a unique idea! I think digital frames are great because they aren’t limited to just one thing. I am curious what you plan the battery life on being to avoid having to charge the system. Also what are you doing to try to make the system as low profile as possible? I would think that is one of your main goal for this project.

    • Hi michael, I’m designing this frame to be on a table or a desk rather than on the wall so I am not focusing too much on making it low profile. Regarding battery life, I am using a 10,000 mAh battery pack that is build for the Raspberry Pi – 4 computer that I purchased. I am anticipating about 6 hours of battery life while running continuously. When not in use the pack can just be plugged in and recharged, say overnight.


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