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Eyeficard.Jpg
I picked up an Eye-Fi wireless SD card, it’s a card with 2GB of storage and it can automatically upload your photos as you take them to your computer and/or services like Flickr. I take a lot of photos in the workshop here of electronics, projects and things for site so I figured this might be worth the $100 price. It usually takes me 10 minutes or so to take an SD card out, transfer photos and then up to 15 minutes or so to upload most of them to Flickr or just keep them on my machine. The packaging is fun, you pul a tab and box slides open, the Wi-Fi SD card has the installation software on it and in less than 5 minutes it was set up and uploading to Flickr and my computer. The software (on my Mac) talks to the card and their web site for configuring it all. I’d like to see more advanced controls for Flickr like titles, tags and disabling privacy settings – but that’s all software and web updates so maybe this review will move that along. I’d like to give it an email address so I could send to people, or to blog services like Tumblr.

One of the reasons the Eye-Fi is appealing to is that in the past I’ve used Kodak’s Wi-Fi camera as well as Nikon’s but I felt trapped by the way they force you to use their services. Things have changed a bit lately but one of the things I didn’t like at the time was that camera manufacturers like to force you to use their weird photo service. The Kodak Wi-Fi camera was fun but it didn’t send the photos to Flickr, I needed to do a silly workaround-hack. I think with something like the Eye-Fi you’ll always have more choices and as you retire out a camera the Wi-Fi ability is card based, not camera based.

This is a quick 1 hour review, I’ll post more as I play around with it. Oh, at Macworld Eye-Fi announced that later this month there will be an update so it works directly with iPhoto. I don’t use iPhoto but lots of people do so I’m curious how much better it will be. There are already 40,000+ photos tagged with “Eye-Fi” on Flickr now, they’re mostly babies but I suppose worth checking out – Link.

More:

  • Eye-Fi – Link.
  • Ted’s review of the Eye-Fi card – Link.
  • WSJ (All Things Digital) – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Matt says:

    I bought one of these but took it back. I had a lot of problems setting it up. It kept saying “move closer to the router.” I had the laptop sitting on the router.

    I spent an hour trying to get it to work and gave up. I emailed support, and they got back to me the next day. Their answer: their server was down.

    So, if their server is down (or doesn’t exist some day…) the card is useless. I didn’t even want to send photos to flicker – just to send them to my laptop. the card has to “phone home” just for that to work.

    I don’t understand why they would make the product completely dependent on their servers.

    so, I say no thanks

  2. Vrogy says:

    Wowsah. If what Matt says is true.. bleh.. fuggedaboudit.

  3. TheDude06 says:

    Damn, ive been drooling over that too. The problem is, i just sold my soul and bought one of those olympus waterproof/crushproof/shockproof cameras which requires those PITA XD picture card chips. I found that when I had my nicer SD based camera i never took enough shop pictures. I had a before, and after pic, but no ‘during’.

    being waterproof and shockproof also means its quite oil/grease proof, dirtproof, sawdust proof etc etc

    is anyone besides olympus making a decent rugged camera nowadays?

  4. Wim L says:

    So, more interesting than uploading some ol’ photos … what’s inside that card? A tiny ARM core running Linux or something? Is it hackable? It’d be pretty neat to get a tiny-form-factor WiFi-enabled device with 2GB storage for a hundred bucks.

  5. lgonzales says:

    Hey Matt,

    Let me see if I can clear up the confusion about the need for an internet connection and the Eye-Fi Card. In order to initially configure the Eye-Fi Cared you will need an internet connection. After the configuration, an internet connection is unnecessary if all you want to do is transfer photos to a local computer.

    The Eye-Fi Card works in one of three modes.
    1. Upload to Web
    2. Upload to Web + Computer
    3. Upload to Computer

    If choose Upload to Web or Upload to Web + Computer, your computer does not have to be on. The Eye-Fi Card will upload through your wireless router, up through your broadband connection, to the Eye-Fi Service, and from there, to your online destination (Facebook, Flickr, etc…) and back down to your computer if you chose Web + Computer.

    If you choose Upload to Computer, your computer has to be on because the photos will upload to your computer via your local wireless router.

    The Eye-Fi Card only requires a wireless network connection to solely upload to a computer. I hope this clears things up.

    YOu can read more at:
    http://www.eye.fi/making-it-effortless/

  6. Tim-1138 says:

    what i wanna know is if something like this is in the works for other flash storage devices… namely The Pro-Duo series, i would love to be able to use wireless uploading with my sony camera…

  7. Anonymousse says:

    A device like this won’t be possible with Sony’s Memory Sticks or xD cards until their specifications are opened up, unlike the SD cards’ which are. Oh well.