Picture frames were created centuries ago and were often made from a single piece of wood.
Over time, frames became as ornate as the art itself, and today, like much of the world, they've gone high-tech.
Digital frames allow users to download images from their digital cameras or computers to display multiple photographs on a loop.
Burbank-based Ceiva Logic, Inc., which started in 2000, is offering a service to connect digital frames and share pictures. Through the company's website, a user in Los Angeles, for example, can download the latest batch of photographs a user in Texas has uploaded.
The idea for the frame is rooted in the company's background. Ceiva Chief Executive Dean Schiller worked at Disney's feature animation department where his job was to tell stories using thousands of individual cells. Schiller used that same concept — telling a story using multiple images — to connect users.
"The idea was that you could stay connected and tell stories, as we did in film," Schiller said. "You could tell stories of your life with photos … you could receive them from anywhere in the world."
Pamela Rowland of Athens, Ohio, bought a Ceiva frame after her mother-in-law lost her hearing and was unable to tell stories to her family as effectively. Because of this, she became depressed, as she was no longer the "hub of information" that she once was, Rowland said. With the Ceiva frame, she was able to tell her stories again.
"From that moment on, her life literally changed," Rowland said.
Rowland uses the frame to store photographs and old newspaper clippings. Her Ceiva network includes her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends, and extends from Maine to Florida to California.
The goal of Ceiva's frames, Schiller said, is to allow people to see their photos instead of storing them in boxes or on a digital camera. Settings, which can be tweaked online, allow users to share photographs taken by a cell phone or stored on a Facebook account.
"It's addictive," Rowland said. "You find yourself standing in front of them [photographs] even if you've downloaded them yourself."
Ceiva's subscription services range from $9.95 for a monthly plan to $249.95 for a three-year plan.
For more information, call (877) 692-3482 or visit http://www.ceiva.com.
For the record: Ceiva's phone number is (877) 692-3482.