Digital Picture Frame; Specs and Constraints

As I have progressed through the process of building my digital picture frame, I have been guided by the following 5  specifications and have been challenged as well by the following five constraints.


  • Repairability: The picture frame must be easily repairable should any component break. By virtue of using a platform such as the raspberry pi, this specification has very much been met. I am also using non permanent adhesives like velcro to secure some components together such that they can be changed out.
  • Wireless Upload: My dad must be able to upload pictures to his frame in some wireless way. The method could be bluetooth, wifi, or another local network connection. Regardless of the upload method, the interface should be as user friendly and simple to use as possible.
  • High Definition Display: Being that the purpose of this artifact is to display photographs, the screen’s resolution must be very high quality. I accounted for this spec my purchasing a full HD display.
  • Personalized and simple/ clean aesthetic: The frame should have a simple, clean and natural look. The frame should also include meaningful design that speaks to some aspect of my Dad’s personality.
  • Large Photo Storage: The frame should be able to store a large number of picture. Ideally the frame should have the capacity to hold over 1000 photos.


  • Battery Life: Battery life has proven to be a large constraint of this project. I would like the frame to have a life of approximately 8 hours, however, selecting a battery that could provide that lifetime while being compatible with a Raspberry Pi originally proved difficult.
  • Customization of RPi: One constraint I have run into is my ability to customize the code on my raspberry pi to meet all of my specifications. It has been a substantial learning curve for me to learn to code with its python platform.
  • Space for Engraving: While one of my specs is having personalized images on the frame itself, the wooden parts of the frame have very limited space to add engravings that are meaningful but also aesthetically pleasing.
  • Quality of Rapid Prototyping: The rapid prototyping components I have received have proven to be relatively low quality, and some have broken causing me to rethink designs and resubmit requests.
  •  Size: This frame is intended to be placed on a desk so I did not think too deeply about keeping it sleek and small. Thus the frame is a bit large and heavy, which may cause problems for my Dad when he uses it. I am constrained, however, by the size of the components I purchased, in my ability to make the system smaller.
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Jake,

    Looks awesome! Do you have any plans with making the backing look slightly more in tie with the aesthetic?

  • Hey Jake,
    I really like how the project turned out. I’m glad you kept some of the engraving on the front of the frame but cleaned it up a little but by sticking with the single picture. Do you have any plans to make it so that you can power it with an outlet.


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