PhotoGreetings (2015)

PhotoGreetings (working title) are mobile phones or tablets, which are 'hidden' in 3D-printed or wooden casings. Consequently, they are not recognized easily as mobile phones. Instead, they look like some sort of digital photo frame. And that's what these devices are actually built for: to display digital photos sent by family or friends, who live at a distant place.


Why not use conventional digital photo frames?

The difference between conventional digital photo frames and PhotoGreetings is that the latter devices can be populated easily by means of a corresponding mobile phone picture application or browser upload form. To share a moment with granny (or with anyone who owns a PhotoGreetings), the user simply has to snap a picture and press send. The result is transferred via Internet and displayed immediately at the remote location. In addition, PhotoGreetings implement Trackaware. Thus, the user gets immediate feedback whenever a person looked at the PhotoGreetings (These displays are always switched on and no touch interaction is required. Thus, the use of Trackaware for checking whether someone has noticed the new photo).



Now four different 'flavours' of PhotoGreetings have been built:

  • PhotoGreetings (2013; also named PhotoFrame I in the publication linked below). 3D-printed device with the capability to receive photos from the Internet. The software to capture and send images is named "FrameCam".
  • PhotoGreetings (2014; also named PhotoFrame II in the publication linked below). A bigger screen than the earlier version (now 7") built into a wooden casing to provide a more homely look and feel. The docking station is made of cement for more robusteness.
  • Give'n'Take-Cam (2104; also named SimpleCamera II in the publication linked below). This device comes with the same functions as PhotoGreetings, however, in addition the user can switch to photo-capture mode. With just a few easy touches photos can be sent to familiy and friends via email or to other PhotoGreetings devices. It features a inductive-charging docking station with the larger parts made of cement.
  • OneButtonCamera (2012; also named SimpleCamera I in the publication linked below). An earlier version of Give'n'Take-Cam with less functions. The interaction design concept was to capture and send photos using only one button, hence its name.

Please note below some images of the prototyping process, and also two deployed PhotoGreetings during a field study.



  • Güldenpfennig, F., Nunes, F., Ganglbauer, E., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2015). Making Space to Engage: An Open-Ended Exploration of Technology Design with Older Adults. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction (IJMHCI) 8, 2 (2016). PDF

Related Links and Pictures

  • Trackaware online log data (Timestamps of moments when someone looked at a PhotoGreetings.)