The Best Facebook-Integrated Devices from CES 2011
The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured the launch of many new products that include Facebook integrations. The emerging trend is the inclusion of either Facebook social sharing features, or device-specific Facebook apps on devices that don’t require a connection to a computer. Most of these products don’t focus on comprehensive interactivity or simulating the Facebook web experience, but instead offer access to core features like photos and the news feed in different shapes and sizes of devices.
Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg has conducted interviews with many of these companies, which you can watch on Facebook Live. Here are our picks for the best new integrations:
Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor with NOOKfriends
The new color version of Barnes & Noble’s ereader includes new social features which allow users to share quotes and recommend books with their Facebook friends. When users highlight a piece of text while reading, users can instantly quote the text and post it as a status update. Users can also select a passage, add their own context, and post it their own wall or the wall of a friend. By removing the manual text entry, Barnes & Noble makes sharing a much quicker and more natural part of the book reading experience, while simultaneously gaining exposure for the NOOKcolor in the news feed.
HP ePrintCenter with the Facebook Photos App
Debuted at CES, the new HP Photosmart eStation includes a detachable 7-inch Android display which includes full-featured Facebook app. HP also recently released a line of printers which connect directly to the internet and allow users to download apps which can be used on printer touch screens. The Facebook Photos app lets users print photos from their profile and those of friends without connecting a computer to the printer. Since many Facebook photos aren’t high enough resolution to print as full-pages, the app makes it simple to print multiple photos on the same page. In-store kiosks at Target also allow users to print from Facebook, but now users can print from home without having the manually save photos from Facebook to their hard drive.
Chumby 8 with the Facebook App
Chumby released its new eight-inch screen Chumby 8 tablet device at CES this year. Both Chumby 8 and the original Chumby 1 allow users to browse photos and their news feed through its Facebook app. Users can set up different accounts and custom feeds within the Facebook app, or download one of the 1500 other apps. While the Chumbys offer significantly less functionality than Facebook’s mobile apps for phones, the unique alarm clock form of the Chumby 1 and digital picture frame form of Chumby 8 offer a more whimsical social media experience.
Kodak Pulse Digital Photo Frame with Facebook Integration
Users can view their Facebook photos and those of friends as soon as they’re posted using Kodak’s recently released Pulse wireless digital photo frame. New photos from friends are automatically synced to frame over a Wi-Fi connection. When friends upload new photos, the frame shows an alert with an option to immediately view them. Kodak Pulses also have unique email addresses to which photos can be sent for display, making them a great gift for the less technologically savvy. Unfortunately, those trying to send photos to the Pulse frames of friends or parents have been thwarted by problems on the Kodak Pulse servers, causing photos to not be delivered.
Western Digital WD TV Live Hub
The new WD TV Live Hub set top box by Western Digital allows users to access Facebook through their television. Photo albums, status updating, the news feed, notifications, and more are available for browsing in a laid-back experience. The beta version of Google TV included a Facebook app with similar functionality, but the app was pulled from the currently shipped product. The release of the WD product which includes Facebook could put Google TV at a disadvantage, since those eager to interact with friends from their couch won’t have to wait for Google and Facebook to come to an agreement.