NFTs are experiencing a big upsurge in popularity in 2021. From artworks to music and even poetry, there has been an explosion of websites that sell and curate them. While NFTs can sell for millions, the uninitiated may struggle to see the point in owning such expensive and intangible assets.
However, the appeal of NFTs makes a lot of sense when you consider what people are actually doing with them. We’re referring to the art savvy collectors transforming their homes and offices into virtual galleries, finding novel ways to display their NFT artworks to beautify or invigorate their environments.
️ I just released a new rare digital artwork, / NATURE SPEAKS /. Take a look! https://t.co/BjQ18Xfdls #raredigitalart #digitalart #empoweredcreator a través de @makersplaceco #nft #nfts #ai #cryptoart #cryptoartist pic.twitter.com/A6crYcDcVL— ☆ . ☆ (@Gala_Mirissa) August 9, 2021
Major technology brands have led this trend. TV brands like Samsung and LG both currently sell digital TVs that resemble picture frames to display digital artworks. Samsung’s The Frame is one product that has become a household name. It’s essentially an ultra slim 4K OLED TV that can be wall-mounted and personalised to suit a user’s decor.
While these digital TVs do allow users to display their own digital artworks, they require third party apps to do so since their own apps provide access to subscription services that allow users to display curated art from external sources. These are still good options, but they don't offer users a seamless way to display NFT collections directly from their source without first undertaking some extra steps.
To solve this issue, a number of companies like Canvia and Netgear now have purpose-built products for collectors to display their NFTs. These devices can display NFTs in just a few clicks from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Some of these products link directly with crypto-wallets to streamline that process. Some also provide subscription services to curated art catalogs to give users more options.
Here we present some common options collectors are using to display their NFTs in 2021.
The Frame TV (Prices starting from AU$1399 @ Samsung)
The Frame is a cleverly designed QLED 4K Smart TV resembling a slim picture frame. It can be used to display your digital artworks, including images and videos at a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. The Frame comes in five different sizes ranging from 43 to 75-inches and four colours, including black, beige, brown and white, allowing you to personalise the look you want and blend your display in with your home’s décor.
While the Samsung Frame is one of the more premium ways to display NFTs, there are some caveats: you will need to make a copy of your photos, gifs or videos and use a 3rd-party app to display the images and videos you want, which may take you some time. You will also have to crop your art to make it fit the Frame’s 16:9 ratio. That said, the Frame’s dual functionality as a TV, makes it an excellent option for art lovers.
TokenCast ($0 @ TokenCast.net)
TokenCast software allows you to build your own NFT display from the ground up. The benefit of doing it yourself is that it allows you to select whatever display type you want and personalise options like your display's size and resolution, which are unchangeable in other display frames.
To make use of TokenCast you will need the TokenCast Client as well as a Raspberry Pi, Android TV or tablet or Fire TV stick and an IPS monitor. You can also display your NFTs on digital photo frames that have IPS screens.
Unlike standalone digital photo frames, TokenCast only displays artworks that you verifiably own. TokenCast lets you connect to three NFT wallets: Metamask, Wallet Connect Family of Wallets and Authereum. It also allows you to display an optional QR code as proof of ownership. Detailed instructions for how to use TokenCast and frame assembly tips can be downloaded from GitHub.
QONOS NFT Frames (Starting at US$999 @ QONOS)
QONOS say their frames were purposely built for displaying NFTs. As such, they allow users to display actual NFTs instead of copies. There are two size options available - 17.3-inch and 24-inch frames. Both sizes display images and video in 1920x1080 pixel resolution and in 16.7 million colours.
The QONOS devices are only 15mm thick allowing them to resemble real picture frames when mounted. They support WiFi 802.11ac connectivity for displaying content directly from compatible devices. QONOS connects to iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows devices. To save energy, QONOS frames have proximity sensors, meaning they will only display artworks when people are nearby.
Infinite Objects Frames (Starting at US$100 @ Infinite Objects)
Infinite Objects say they "print videos," meaning that an Infinite Objects frame will loop one video or NFT permanently. That means while you can choose to have your own videos looped on your Infinite Object frame, you won’t be able to change it once you have your frame in hand. That limitation has been quite popular with consumers, because it makes each object a 'limited piece.' Frames are available in 5 and 7-inch options.
You can choose videos of varying lengths, from a few seconds up to 24 hours. If you don’t have any of your own NFTs to print, the Infinite Objects website also has curated art collections allowing you to choose other people’s artwork to print into an Infinite Object.
NetGear Meural Canvas II (Starting at AU$598 @ Netgear)
The Netgear Meural Canvas II is a digital canvas that comes in two size options - one measuring 16 x 14-inches and a larger canvas measuring 19 x 29-inches. Both sizes feature Full High-Definition LCD panels capable of displaying videos and images in resolutions up to 1920x1080p and in 16.7 million colours. They come in a choice of black, white, dark wood and light wood frames.
The Meural Canvas II is powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A17 processor and 2GB DDR3 memory. It has 8GB of internal storage. The Canvas II also comes with dual band Wi-Fi 5 connectivity.
You can upload your own digital artworks to the frame by saving your images on an SD card, or by uploading them to Netgear’s server and then downloading them to your frame. A Meural membership gives you access to 30,000 curated artworks from participating museums and artists and costs AU$100 per year.
Canvia Smart Digital Art Frame (Starting from $US488 @ Canvia)
Originally a Kickstarter project, the Canvia Smart Digital Art Frame links your crypto-wallet to your Canvia account, allowing you to upload and display your NFTs including your digital images and videos. It has a generous 16GB internal storage allowing it to store thousands of images and videos. It measures 27 x 18 x 1.6-inches, and is available in a range of colours including black, oak, cherry and white. Its display has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. A subscription service gives you access to more than 10,000 artworks. The Canvia Smart Digital Art Frame connects to both Android and iOS devices.
Dragon Touch 10-inch Digital Picture Frame (AU$350 @ Amazon)
This is one of the most affordable options for displaying your NFTs. The Dragon Touch Digital Picture Frame has an IPS touch screen display that can play videos and display images in 1920x1200 pixel resolution. It supports videos up to 30 seconds in length, however you will need to add them via a third party app. It includes 16GB internal storage that Dragon Touch says allows it to store up to 40,000 images.