Frame Media Reinvents Itself as Thinking Screen, Goes After Larger “Connected Screen” Market

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content to devices other than its trademark soft-sided appliance, since the widgets depend on Adobe’s Flash video format, which most other connected screens can’t handle. Thinking Screen’s data, by contrast, is delivered using the Media RSS format, created by Yahoo in 2004 and used by thousands of content publishers.

Thinking Screen also has a network of content and manufacturing partners that would be hard for any other company to match, Phillips says. “The barrier to entry is about partnerships on the content side and more importantly on the screen manufacturer side,” he says. “As we create a critical mass of users, the revenue from advertising is shared with both content providers and screen manufacturers, so there is a stream now that encourages the screen partners to make sure that FrameChannel is enabled on their devices.”

Two new products set to emerge from Thinking Screens in the coming months are designed to widen the service’s appeal to consumers. One is a line of inexpensive digital frames dedicated to a single type of content—examples might include a frame that just shows celebrity news from People magazine or news and scores for the Boston Red Sox.

The other is a selection of 35,000 channels aggregating local information. For example, Phillips says, “You could have a Hopkinton, Massachusetts channel, where we’ve licensed content from local news sources, traffic, weather, relevant sports scores, stock quotes for companies, lottery numbers, a Twitter feed from your state representative—everything to do with Hopkinton. So you can imagine watching the Today show at seven in the morning and as a picture-in-picture experience you’re also getting your local town’s feed.”

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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