Viewing photos in frames becomes a bit of messy affair since the frames are usually landscape-only. This shortcoming frustrated a man so much so that he built his own rotating frame out of a 27’’ LCD TV. Yes, the rather ingenious frame rotates itself as and when it detects a change in the picture orientation.
The rotating frame comes equipped with a Raspi 3 which in turn finds pictures from a giant SD card and displays them on the frame. Originally, the creator of this frame, Tim wanted to use a Raspberry Pi to pull the pictures from the Google Photos and display them randomly but soon he realized that the API won’t work in this direction. Eventually, he ended up using a Python script to fetch the pictures from the SD card and also decides whether the picture is captured in portrait mode or landscape mode. The rotation of the frame is taken care by an Arduino, stepper motor, and 3D printed herringbone gears.
The mount and the frame have been designed by Tim himself and as it can be seen from the pictures it is laser cut from plywood. Since it is not advisable to use the usual power cable as it would pose a potential safety hazard, the rotating frame makes use of acrylic to coat the high voltage circuitry. The code and the related circuit design are all available on his Project Page and maybe you can give a try too. That said, it still surprises me when it comes to the lack of commercial products which would automatically adapt to the picture orientation. Maybe we can look forward to a square frame that will suit for both landscape and portrait modes. The video below will take you through the working of the rotating frame.