One of the more interesting products I encountered at IFA was the Netgear Meural Canvas II, and it is the first time I have been made aware of this product range.
If I am honest, I can't say it is something that appeals to me, but what they have achieved is impressive.
It takes the concept of Digital Picture Frames, makes them bigger and gives them a lifelike display thanks to its special LCD display.
It is the display that it the stand out feature here, while a 1080P display doesn't sound particularly interesting, it is the special matte covering and the underlying software that allows it to display art just as it would appear in the real world. It would take a very keen eye to tell that this is an LCD display, not real or printed artwork.
Consumer appeal maybe a little limited, though. These are not exactly priced for your average Joe, prices start at £649 for a 21.5-inch frame and if you want to use Netgear library of art, that is around $70 per year (I am waiting on UK pricing). You can, of course, use your own artwork too.
Full Press Release:
Netgear is announcing the worldwide release of the Meural Canvas II. Meural joined the NETGEAR family of smart networking products in 2018. This latest offering is the first formal product introduction since the acquisition last year.
Meural Canvas II powered by NETGEAR is a sophisticated WiFi connected digital canvas that is designed to bring the world of art into your home or office. With the signature anti-glare matte display, the Meural Canvas showcases every brushstroke, so that each piece is displayed like the original as seen in a gallery or museum. Additionally, Meural smart canvases serve as an exceptional way to showcase personal photography collections.
Meural Canvas II includes enhanced WiFi performance for faster uploads and extended range. The initial setup for the digital canvas has been improved and streamlined to be quick and easy with the addition of a rapid QR code for seamless connectivity to your WiFi network. The canvas is also now more energy efficient and consumes 45% less power than the previous model. Additionally, the front-facing ambient light sensor has been advanced to better adjust the screen illumination based on the lighting within the environment and ensures that each piece is displayed optimally.
The new Meural Canvas II will be available in two sizes, the larger 19×29 with a 27-inch HD digital canvas and a smaller 16×24 frame with 21.5-inch HD digital canvas at an attractive entry-level price. The two sizes will make for more options for more walls in your home or office. Each of the canvases feature a 16:9 ratio and can orient to portrait (vertical) mode or landscape (horizontal). The Canvas II automatically detects the orientation and with the addition of the Meural Swivel Mount switching between placements is easy and does not require the removal of the frame from the wall. The Swivel Mount accessory, a sturdy, durable, lightweight mechanism; makes it easy to ensure the canvas is oriented so the art fills the frame. With a simple, one-time install, the swivel mount is a must-have for those who frequently discover new art, or like to showcase their own.
There are four ways to interactively navigate the library of art via the smart canvas:
- Gesture control Simply wave your hand in front of one of the Canvas’ two embedded sensors to change the art or access settings.
- Voice control (currently with an Amazon Alexa device)
- Desktop (my.meural.com dashboard)
- The Meural app (iOS and Android)
As a subscriber, Meural Members are given access to a dynamic library of art with over 30,000 works curated from leading museums, artists, and image collections from around the world. Enjoy the classics from the Renaissance to the Impressionist periods alongside modern, postmodern and photography collections. Meural’s dynamic art library has something for everyone including contemporary masters like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat to the artists of the renaissance such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Caravaggio. Meural’s art library extends both the enjoyment and education of art for all members. Additionally, the art marketplace enables members to purchase select works from the library to own and add to their personal collection forever, just as one might do from an auction or gallery.
In addition to the largest collection of art works available from an online library, the Meural platform also makes it quick and easy to upload and display your own photos. The built-in features let you upload in batches, adjust color, and crop to fit the 16:9 display. Along with the additional online storage included with a Meural membership there is also an easily accessible SD card slot and USB port to ensure you always have plenty of memory for all your photography needs.
“The Meural platform has been a unique addition to the NETGEAR family of products. We are pleased to provide the world with a way to gain a greater appreciation for art by adorning the walls of homes or offices with a curated collection of the worlds most treasured creations,” said David Henry senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR. “With Meural Canvas II, we have taken a great concept that leverages the capabilities of our connected world and improved it with more advanced features and additional framing options. The unique properties of the Meural product line is that it does not only serve as a medium for enjoyment, appreciation and education of art, but also provides a great way to showcase one’s own photography or art pieces.”
NETGEAR acquired Meural in August 2018, expanding upon its successful connected home product offering, and advancing the company’s vision of a fully connected world. Through a combination of Meural’s proprietary hardware product, the Meural Canvas, and a library of 30,000 licensed artworks, Meural acts as a new media distribution platform for the visual arts. The Meural Canvas is differentiated by Meural’s patented TrueArt technology, a combination of hardware and software that combine to deliver a realistic art viewing experience, including a signature matte, anti-glare display. Controllable via gesture, voice (Amazon Alexa), desktop, or mobile app, the Meural Canvas empowers users to interact with art every day.
Meural Canvas II powered by NETGEAR is now available worldwide for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price(s):
Meural Canvas II:
19×29 frame with 27-inch HD display in white or black – £779.
19×29 frame with 27-inch HD display in dark or light wood- £829.
16×24 frame with 21.5-inch HD display in white or black – £599.
16×24 frame with 21.5-inch HD display in dark or light wood – £649.
Swivel Mount – £45.
Annual membership subscription to the Meural curated art library price tbc.
Available for pre-order as of September 6th.
For more information about Meural Canvas II, please visit NETGEAR in Hall 3.2 at booth 201 during IFA 2019.