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frame Announces New Bluetooth Functionality for Digital Memory Boxes

AUSTIN, TX–frame, a company offering cloud-based, customizable digital content management and display systems for senior living communities, has announced a technological advancement of its innovative digital memory boxes used for room identification and wayfinding in senior living communities.

The original product debuted two years ago, and after a successful launch the company feverishly started working on the development and testing of Bluetooth functionality. With Bluetooth functionality, the digital memory box is paired via Bluetooth chips which are inserted into residents’ radio-frequency identification (RFID) wristbands that they wear to get in and out of their apartments.

The purpose of adding the Bluetooth component is to enable the box to alert memory care residents when they have made it to the correct suite by displaying a picture or playing a tranquil sound. While frame is still researching tranquil sounds, the resident, family or staff member can choose the signaling photo which will pop up when the resident is within range. The chip can communicate with the box from up to four feet away.

“Adding the Bluetooth component to frame was important to us, as we aim to offer our clients leading-edge technological products that improve the lives of residents. In addition, it is aesthetically pleasing when combined with other interior design elements,” said Jose Patino, IT manager for frame.

“When we launched frame two years ago, the original concept was to connect the digital memory boxes to RFID wristbands. When we realized that RFID would severely limit the distance that the wristbands could communicate, we decided to pursue research focused on Bluetooth,” Patino explained. “With RFID technology, the resident would literally have to be standing right in front of their door for the visual or sound signaling to work. However, those living with memory impairments often wander and may have difficulty finding their residence, so the technology needs to have a longer range like Bluetooth.”

frame’s digital memory boxes are designed to replace physical shadow boxes built outside of residents’ doorways to display snapshots of a resident’s life through photos, figurines or other keepsakes. While touring many memory care communities, the president of frame, Dean Maddalena, saw outdated, dusty and neglected boxes. He decided to create a solution that would be easier for families both near and far to update. Thus, the idea for frame was born.

frame’s digital memory boxes feature a full-color LCD screen offering a beautiful, high-quality digital display. Images and videos are organized by resident, room and area so that content can be easily adapted to the community’s changing needs. The content is transmitted to the digital memory boxes securely and wirelessly over community Wi-Fi and hosted on cloud technology. It is easily available on a single web browser or smartphone application offering secure 24/7 access and management.

“frame’s digital boxes feature touch screen panels with an enclosure around the panel that coordinates with the design of the senior living community and room numbers,” said Patino. “All colors and fonts are customized to each senior living community, and the employees are trained to use the software interface to easily add or remove photos or images familiar to the resident. Families send the photos to the community, and the community updates the digital memory boxes. Installation of the boxes happens in three phases: creating the community’s space on frame’s server, creating templates for the devices, and training the staff to run the interface.”

The designers at frame also developed a companion to the personal digital memory box, collage, which uses larger panels and design elements to create a collage. Each panel can display different items, such as the weather, news, activity calendar, dining menu, etc. Some clients even display digital artwork on the panels.

“As social media continues to top the list of ways families can keep in contact, we want to create that same feeling of instantaneous updates for residents living in our clients’ senior living communities,” said Maddalena. “We are pleased to add this Bluetooth functionality to our existing product, giving frame a new feature that benefits residents and assists them with wayfinding on a whole new level. We are always reimagining senior living and looking for ways to take traditional products, designs or elements and add a cutting-edge flair or technological component to them.

“Our clients are seeking more digital options for their residents, so adding this feature was the natural next step for us,” Maddalena added. “Those who wish to enable the Bluetooth technology do not have to buy new software or new memory boxes, as those pieces already came equipped with Bluetooth technology. We simply add the Bluetooth chips to residents’ existing RFID wristbands, and these chips are paired with each individual digital memory box. We are thrilled to offer clients this new technology as we know it will truly enhance the lives of memory care residents living in their communities.”

frame will run a pilot for the new technology at one of its client’s communities located in Fairfax. This community has been using frame successfully and is eager to add the new functionality. They expect the pilot to take place sometime during the second quarter of this year. Future plans for frame involve incorporating an administrative feature that caregivers or medical staff can access on each individual panel to find information pertaining to a resident’s allergies, preferences, behaviors, medications, dietary restrictions and other notes.