Receive Virtual Postcards On This Beautiful E-Ink Photo Frame

A wooden picture frame with an e-ink display

Sending postcards to loved ones used to be standard procedure for travelers back when travel was glamorous and communications were slow. While some travelers still keep this tradition alive, many have replaced stamps and post offices with instant messaging and social media — faster and more convenient, but a lot less special than receiving a postcard with a handwritten message from a faraway land.

[Cameron] designed a postcard picture frame that aims to bring back a bit of that magic. It’s a wooden frame that holds an e-ink display, which shows pictures sent to it by your friends. All they need to do is open the unique link that you sent them beforehand and upload an interesting photo; the picture frame will cycle through the submissions based on an adjustable schedule. A web interface allows you to change settings and delete any inappropriate images.

A black PCB with an ESP32 mounted on itThe wooden frame is beautifully made, but the sleek black PCB inside is an true work of art. It holds a battery and a USB-C charging circuit, as well as an ESP32 that connects to WiFi, stores images and downscales them to the 800×480 monochrome format used by the display. [Cameron] has not accurately measured the current consumption, but estimates that it should work for about one year on a single charge thanks to the extremely low power requirements of e-ink displays.

Having your friends decide on the images shown in your house is an interesting idea, if you can trust them to keep it decent. If you like to have more control over your e-ink display, have a look at this solar-powered model or this wall-mounted newspaper display.

12 thoughts on “Receive Virtual Postcards On This Beautiful E-Ink Photo Frame

  1. Well, Robin you are a bit optimistic, on his project, [Cameron] wrote:
    ” The draw with the ESP32 in deep sleep is not negligible though so even with once daily updates I think it will only get about 2 weeks out of a charge.”

  2. Beautiful or clunky? Eye of the beholder. Bottom weighted borders are not as popular as they once were, but for a heavy appearing frame it is probably much more stable looking. But then equal borders is popular today. Could it be from HTML or CSS default framing for images?

  3. Very nice project ! It is like what the orphaned Kodak W1020 did with Frame Channel. (Mine displays data from my weather station – a repurpose, not a hack). Now if only.. ya you guessed it… E-Ink was faster, better color, larger and .. cheaper.

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