For several weeks I’d been seeing an advertisement on my FB stream. It was for a photo display device called “Skylight“. It was billed as the perfect Mothers’ Day gift, then as the perfect Fathers’ Day gift, and a graduation gift. You get the idea. One day I clicked through on the ad to see what it might be.
It appears to be the perfect gift for the technologically-impaired relative who doesn’t want to mess with computers, phones or tablets, and/or has poor eye-sight so that viewing photos of loved ones on a phone/tablet is not that clear. The part that caught MY attention, however, was that it holds around 8,000 photos. I have a LOT of photos. I always took a lot and once the phone cameras came into being, my picture taking increased exponentially. I thought why not give it a try, it’s a fairly reasonable price, it sounds easy and if I don’t like it I could give it away. I ordered it just before Fathers’ Day and ended up getting a discount on the price. Apparently so many people had ordered it that if I didn’t mind waiting a few extra days, they’d knock off $15. Sure, why not, right? It was for me. I’m not a father. *grin*
As is par for me, I did nothing with it for a few weeks. In the meantime, my niece had a baby. This is the first baby of that generation in our family, although I think she must be the 5th of that generation in my brother-in-law’s family. We all met the new addition and I thought that maybe I should just hand over the Skylight to my b-i-l’s mother (who is as a second mother to me – we’ve been mishpacha since before my sister married her son.)
I didn’t hand it over but I did finally set it up. (Okay – I know you’re reading this so I’ll confess – my friend set it up.) It took less than 15 minutes to turn it on, connect it to my wifi, and start sending photos. In a nutshell, the Skylight is meant for someone who is the recipient of other folks sending photos. Perfect for a great-grandma with a new baby where the distant parents are sending regular photo updates. Each device has its own email address, and anyone can email photos to that address, where they appear “magically” on the Skylight as long as it has internet connectivity. There are a few settings (how often does the photo stay up before the next one appears, show them chronologically in the order they arrived or randomly) but basically it’s as simple as someone sends you photos and you look at them.
I LOVE IT.
There is no USB connection. I thought at first I’d just hook up a USB cable and dump all my photos. Nope, you have to email them (again – think of the purpose – distant relatives sending regular updates of family members). This means I need to go through all my photos and attach the designated pictures to the email and send it to the device. I am having so much fun going through the photos, recalling things that I’d forgotten about completely, reliving happy memories. Photos of people and pets who are no longer with me, my son’s school events, family gatherings, excursions, office parties – they are all there and I’m reliving them all. After viewing a few folders of photos I find myself grinning ear to ear – so many happy smiling people! I have to smile back.
I loved it so much that I bought one for my other mother (see above *grin*). My sister set it up for her and now her children and grandchildren and I are all sending her photos from all places and ages. I’ve found so many good ones from the past. Every time I send one to her Skylight, I laugh and smile – it makes me feel so good to send her something that will make her happy. And it DOES make her happy – she loves hers, too. She knew about them because a friend has one. She says the friend no longer watches TV, she watches her Skylight. *laughing* It really is captivating. Last night I encountered a myriad of photos from my former office and coworkers. I started sending them out as well. I found the photos from a Passover seder where one of the guests turned 62. I sent those. IT FEELS SO GOOD to send happy memories to people.
I guess you could consider this an advertisement. That isn’t usually my “thing” – pushing products. But this particular ‘toy’ has given me such joy that I’m telling everyone about it. I love sorting through my photos, cropping and cleaning them, and sending them off to the Skylight. It’s sitting on a table in my living room at the moment. I’m not sure it will stay there because I don’t actually spend that much time there. I almost think I might move it into the kitchen where I can watch it.
I have no idea how many photos I’ve loaded. I’m actually working my way forward from 2 points in time: 2002 when I apparently began taking digital photos, and 2013, the first year I had on my laptop. I’d archived all the earlier photos onto removable drives. It has taken me several days to make it out of 2005. *grin* 2016 is also proving to need many days of curation. I’m not sure 8000 photos will suffice for me. I may need to get another one. Considering the joy it gives me – it’s well worth the price.