Y Combinator startup Picwing launches today (see our coverage yesterday of the other Y Combinator startups launching this summer). Think of it as a social photo site with an associated digital photo frame. Once you set up an account you can set options that let others view and/or add photos as well. Photos are uploaded to the site via a unique email address.
Photos can be viewed on the site, on the desktop via Windows or Mac software, embedded into other sites (I’ve embedded a few sample images below) and there is also a Chumby widget option. But the big use is to have them sent wirelessly to the photo frame that they are also selling.
Here’s the downside. The photo frames are $249, which compares badly to competing products that are in the $100-$200 range. The screen is 7 inches, which is on the small side. And for now you can’t even get them. Orders now will be fulfilled in 6-8 weeks, as the team builds the first batch by hand.
On the upside, the team is focusing on the software, particularly the social opportunities that have largely been ignored in the digital photo frame market until now. Once a lot of people have these in their living rooms, there are plenty of opportunities to drive additional services. The frame is running Flash on Linux, so it is also a fully functional PC.
Digital photo frames are already a half billion dollar market, and is expected to grow 4x over the next few years. This is a good space to innovate in. I pre-ordered a frame, and it will sit proudly next to my Chumby on my desk. I’ll also give out the email address for the device, so you can all send me whatever pictures you like.