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With Meural, Netgear Dabbles in Fine Art

LAS VEGAS — If I mention Netgear, you're likely to think of routers and modems rather than Rembrandts and Monets. But Netgear's August 2018 purchase of Meural, which makes connected digital frames, got the networking company into the fine art business.

Meural features a digital picture frame that has the ability to stream fine art from a library of 30,000 pieces. (You can also stream your own photos into one of Meural's frames.) Gesture controls let you swipe through paintings to pick one that fits your room's decor or your mood; you can also swipe up to learn more about the painting.

On the surface, that doesn't sound like a fit for a company specializing in networking gear, but Netgear's Nathan Papadopulos said that Meural is part of a focus on the connected home. "It's an example of what the connected world provides and the benefit of how it effects people in their daily life," he said. "It's more that you can get than just surfing the internet."

And Netgear is prepping a new version of Meural for release in the second quarter of 2019. Meural 3.0 adds a 21.5-inch frame size to the current 27-inch offering. The new frame will also be modular, meaning you'll be able to swap out its design just like you can currently change the pictures. Netgear is also improving the ambient sensor that adjusts the display throughout the day based on the ambient lighting in the room.

Netgear wasn't listing prices on the new version of Meural at CES. But prices on the current version range from $595 to $695 depending on the material used in the frame. An annual subscription to Meural's library of fine art costs $50 a year.

Image Credit: Tom's Guide

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.