Sean M. Tracey had a problem, which will likely be familiar to many readers, in that buying Christmas gifts for family is tough. Not only is one expected to give a nice and well thought-out present to those you’re close to and presumably know very well, but in Tracey’s experience his family doesn’t actually have any idea what they want. On the other hand, his mom loves seeing pictures of her grandchildren, so he made a frame that automatically pulls pictures off Instagram for her.
The aptly named Instaframe is based on a Raspberry Pi 3A+, along with an official Pi touchscreen. This device is nicely hidden behind a frame that his mom picked out — so as not to force his sense of style on her — and runs an Electron app on startup. This takes care of image display, scrolling pictures along every 15 seconds. It also includes a lock button to keep a favorite image up, plus a button to allow her to search for a certain picture.
Behind the scenes, the Instaframe uses a Watson Visual Recognition to pick out the grandkids in question, which was trained with 40 pictures of each. This produced a good confidence score, but did often include pics of their parents, who — surprise — look quite similar. This was fixed with the help of negative photographic data to help weed them out, though I’d have to guess they, along with the odd cup, hammer, or lamp, do sneak in once in a while. Regardless, it’s an amazing gift, and something that will be tough to beat next year!