Sony offers Home Share and smart Photo Frame

Sony gives you two new digital house guests
Sony gives you two new digital house guests

Ever had one of those annoying house guests who's constantly flicking through your photos and never knows when to leave? Yawning and turning off lights won't dissuade two of Sony's new digital home gadgets, launched today.

Bet it couldn't win Mastermind though

The VGF-CP1 Intelligent Photo Frame is far more than just another 7-inch frame - although at least it supports SD and Compact Flash cards as well as Sony's ever-expanding clans of Memory Sticks.

The 16.7-million colour, 800x480-pixel display comes with USB and b/g Wi-Fi connections, letting you transfer pics wirelessly from your home computer and view or upload images from a Picasa account online.

The CP1 will automatically track up to four Picasa accounts, alerting you to new images in them with a little blue LED. Other neat touches are a RSS feed viewer and a light sensor that puts it into standby in the dark. Hmm, which is just when its LCD screen would look at its best?

Stocks of Shares

Sony's other digital home gadget is the VGF-HS1E Home Share, a 1TB (twin 500GB) hard drive home media server with multiple memory card readers, one Ethernet and three USB ports.

The 3.1kg monster will automatically download images from digital cameras (and some camcorders and phones), and you can also easily back up data from your home PC or a remote laptop, if you wire the HS1E up to the web.

The server can be accessed directly via a web application called VAIO Picture Lab, letting you or your mates grab your files with nothing more than an internet connection and a web browser.

The DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) Home Share should also integrate 'seamlessly' with your PlayStation 3, Vaio PCs and other connected gadgets in your ever-so-modern home.

Prices and release dates for both products as we get them....

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.