EyeFi SD memory cards are memory cards for your camera that talk to the internet. So every time the card inside your camera can find a WiFi signal it can use, it starts uploading the pictures on it either to a web service (like Flickr) or to your computer back home. They are super cool, but at CES this year they were showing off an even better new feature called “direct mode.”
Honestly, it took me a couple of minutes to understand what it was all about, so forgive me if it’s a bit confusing. The most basic way of putting it is the EyeFi SD card in your camera acts like it’s own WiFi hotspot. This allows you as the photographer to connect to the card (which is in your camera) from any device (computer, phone, pad) and download your pictures. They were demoing it with an Android phone, and from the picture you can kind of see what I’m talking about. The picture that is up on the camera is also simultaneously up on the phone, connected not through anything other than a direct WiFi connection. And it’s easy to connect because your phone thinks it’s just connecting to a different WiFi network.
Why is this so cool you might wonder? Well, besides the ability to back back up your pictures automatically, sharing pictures from your camera (as opposed to your crappy cell phone camera) quickly and easily is something people, especially parents, would definitely use.
The best part is it will be a free update to all “X2″ EyeFi card users, likely coming out in the first half of 2011. An X2 EyeFi card costs $50 for 4GB, $100 for 8 GB and $150 for an 8GB card that will also allow for camera RAW files (not just JPEGs).
Check it out at their website, and pretty soon your Facebook friends will be asking why their cell phone pictures don’t look as good as yours.
– Christopher Ford