How would you like a window into a museum in your home? That's the idea behind Meural, a company which marries digital technology with great art. Imagine coming home to a new painting every day, whether by Tintoretto, or Gauguin or Masson. The Meural Canvas offers access to over 30,000 such works of art. The company hopes that through the right combination of art, tech and design, it will do more than offer something pretty to put on your wall, but elicit real emotion from the viewer.
Images are displayed on an ultra-thin (10 mm) panel. The display measures 29 inches X 18 inches X 1.5 inches with a 9:16 aspect ratio. Resolution is full HD (1920 X 1080). The system includes built-in WiFi and 8 GB of memory, enough to store 2,000 images.
The Meural Canvas is capable of 16.7 million colors. Meural has partnered with Pantone, a company known for its expertise in color matching, and so benefits from that firm's decades of experience. The Meural Canvas also includes an anti-glare matte display that amplifies colors even as it deflects light, while a built-in ambient light sensor adjusts the image to match the room's lighting. The Meural Canvas can be set horizontally or vertically.
Meural enlisted the services of Richard Clarkson to design the frame. An innovative artist in his own right, (check out his cool light cloud) Clarkson wanted to capture the essence of a frame while celebrating its evolution into the digital realm. The frame he developed features a classic look (it's handcrafted soft maple) with a modern, minimalist sensibility. The frame is a pleasure to look at without drawing attention away from the image.
The Meural Canvas responds to gesture control. You can swipe left, right, up or down to change the painting. The designers felt that gesture controls was the best option because in a museum, you wouldn't touch the art. They wanted to create the same sense of awe and respect you have in a museum, only at home with a Meural display. Another practical consideration was that a touchscreen would have quickly covered the image in fingerprints. You can also change the art via Meural's app. This includes an auto-pilot option that changes the display automatically. The app is Android and iOS compatible.
The biggest caveat regarding the Meural Canvas is that it includes a rather large power cord that will trail down your wall. Meural could benefit from some of the new technology that was on display at CES 2017. Samsung's "invisible connection cable" for its QLED TVs, for example, springs to mind. As technology like that becomes more widely available and with screen resolutions inching closer to real life, Meural Canvas will only get better with time. As it is, the Meural Canvas is a well-designed, well-made digital frame that combines several disciplines to create one impressive effect.