Eye-Fi sets your camera free


Eyefi This amazing memory card turns any SD-compatible camera into a wireless transfer super-gadget.

You may have seen Nikon’s series of Wi-Fi point-and-shoot digicams on the market and thought, "that’s a pretty cool idea". You’re not alone.

The folks at Eye-Fi have thought this way for some time now and are ready to release what they claim is the world’s first wireless memory card.

The goal is simple: allow anyone with a digital camera that uses the SD flash memory format, to upload their images both to their PC and to their choice of 17 web-based photo-sharing sites that the company supports, including Flickr and Facebook to name two of the most popular.

The 2GB card does this by way of configuration utility that you run on your PC or Mac, which tells the card how to reach your PC and which of the online sites you want to use. From then on, every time your camera is powered up and within reach of an available wireless network, the card transfers all of the images it has in memory.

The card can cope with secured wireless networks, but isn’t able to get around the splash-screen logons that many public hot-spots use to authenticate users.

At $99, this card isn’t the best bang for the buck in terms of storage, but considering the functionality it adds to non-wi-fi cameras, it’s an amazing value.

Check it out at eye.fi

[Thanks to engadget]

Update: Dpreview.com has posted a review of the Eye-fi and confirms the ease-of-use that the manufacturer claims, but they fail to be impressed by the card’s wireless range and transfer speeds. Thanks for the tip Bob!

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2 comments

  1. Dave Dowling

    This sounds so environmentally friendly, no bulky, plastic clad, copper wire giong from the camera to the computer.

    too bad the car manufacturers are not as environmental friendly.

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  2. Bob

    Tiny internal antenna that must fit in the SD form factor, coupled with the fact that the card must be inserted inside a camera body, which likely has metal shielding around the card area to prevent RF interference means that the range of such a card is going to be absolutely miniscule: unless you have a wireless access point practically right next to you, this device is not likely to work very well.. The wireless system doesn't support ISPs with special logon screens, etc.. They claim that the card can do up to 802.11g, but with a single tiny antenna (diversity not possible in that form factor), real life link speeds are likely to be down at the low end of the scale, meaning that a full card may take the better part of an hour or more to transfer.. You're better off buying a fast card reader for less than half the price and just walking over to your computer and plugging the card in..

    Additionally, if you're uploading to a photo hosting site, make sure you also back up to your home PC because many of these sites automatically chop down your submissions to tiny file sizes to save space on their servers, meaning that all those sharp, crisp 8+ Megapixel images that you just shot are all for naught, as the clever server hacks them down to the same resolution that you get out of your cheap cell phone camera.. There are sites supported that don't do image hacking, but these are also ones where you have to pay additional $$ to use..

    Neat idea, but more hype than function.. There are already reviews up on the web (see dpreview.com for example) panning the functionality of this product, so I predict that they'll sell a few thousand units and then go bankrupt because after the initial period of hype, people will get fed up with the short range and low performance..

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