This Super-Smart Digital Frame Is the Best Way to Keep Your Family Connected

Your pictures finally have a place to live.

Something that plagues me, PLAGUES ME daily is the number of photos that I’m taking … and how I’m not doing anything with them. They sit on my phone, and every once in a while, they are uploaded to my server, where they gather virtual dust for all eternity. Every year for the past decade my New Year’s resolution has been to put all these photos — from my professionally-shot wedding pictures to messy, funny snaps of my kids doing silly things — in a frame, or God forbid, a photo book. And because I’m a procrastinator, and because I’m dreading the editing and uploading process, it never happens. Cue: More anxiety … and more photo-taking. It’s a vicious cycle!

One way to combat all of this is via a digital picture frame. My favorite is Aura. Why? Lots of reasons, and I’ll go through them here. First, it’s a gorgeous frame. Others on the market are, well, a bit chintzy. They’re not necessarily something you’d want to place on your kitchen counter or hang in your family room. Aura’s frames, however, come in soothing hues and are sleek and elegant with high-resolution LCD screens, making them visually worth their $299 asking price.

What’s really impressed me about this product though is its capabilities, and more importantly, its ease of use. Let’s face it: I’m lazy. (Refer to my aforementioned inability to create a simple photo book for proof!) If a product requires a whole lot of set up time, my short attention span will usually get the best of me. Luckily, Aura frames are pretty much working straight out of the box. You download the Aura app, plug the frame in, connect to your Wifi and start uploading your images to the frame. It’s. That. Easy.

Cool features abound, too. The frame can be set to automatically flip through images or can be controlled via gesture — swipe your hand in front of it to advance the photos, swipe your hand up to notify the poster that you like an image. Facial recognition is another nifty detail, as the frame automatically creates collections of people you’re photographing the most, and it can also display those “live” images we all love so much. There’s also sensor technology, which allows the frame to adjust brightness based on light in the room, and an energy conscious feature that turns the frame off when the room goes completely dark.

And as much as I love this frame for myself, it’s also an on-point gift to give your parents or relatives. Consider it a quiet, beautiful way of keeping long distance family members apprised of what’s going on in everyone’s lives. How? Because the frame allows unlimited contributors! Buy a parent this for their birthday and everyone in your family can begin uploading images from their phones directly to the same frame. My mother-in-law, for example, has four kids and seven grandkids in three cities across the country. Instead of getting pinged with text messages and emails containing photos she’ll love — but likely never do anything with — the family sends the images to her Aura, that she sees (and enjoys) day after day in the background of her life.

Which brings me to a few more reasons why this is the most thoughtful (and perfect) prezzie ever: First, the frame has unlimited storage and zero subscription fees. $299 buys you a lifetime of image storage (which the app keeps nice and tidy!). Second, you’re sharing photos with loved ones without social media, which let’s face it, older generations either don’t partake in or are wary of. Third, as of this spring, you can now pre-load images to a frame (you just need your gift recipient's Wifi info) while it’s still in the box, so they can open the present, plug it in and begin enjoying it immediately. And lastly, the frame is hassle-free — no buttons or confusing files to download, which again, make this a verrrry parent-friendly gift.

Shop the frames below, and be on your way to feel *slightly* less anxious about the 10,000 photographs you are taking annually!

Aura Frame in Charcoal with Metal

Aura Frame in Ivory with Rose Gold

Aura Frame in Quartz with Silver Trim

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