Monday, April 14, 2008

WiFi in a Memory Card

How many SD memory cards have you seen that sport an FCC ID on the front? This one does because it's more than a mere 2 GB digital memory card. It's also a WiFi transceiver. Configure it with your computer using the included USB adaptor, then pop the card into your digital camera. Now take all the pictures you want and they'll automatically upload to your computer or the online photo sharing or social networking site of your choice when you get within range of your home network. Poof, they're out of the camera and uploaded before you even know it.

The Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Card solves the age-old problem of photography: Pictures that never come out of the camera. I say age-old, because I've discovered undeveloped rolls of film in cameras buried in the closet decades later. Digital photography is worse. It's easy to take snapshots. It's hard to dig out that special USB cord and plug your camera into the computer. Most cameras have lots of memory and none of them bug you to do anything with the pictures you take. Pretty soon, there you are out in the middle of nowhere with a nearly full memory card and no option but to delete older photos to take new ones. Oh, yeah, those pictures would sure look good on Flickr. But it's soooo much work to get them there.

Now you have no excuses for not doing something with the pictures you take. The Eye-Fi card takes care of all the tedium involved in formating and uploading photos to photo sites. That includes printing sites such as, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish and Wal-Mart. You don't have to print them, but they'll be there whenever you want to.

So how does it work? The Eye-Fi actually contains a WiFi networking chip within the confines of a standard SD memory card measuring 32mm x 24mm x 2.1mm and weighing a mere tenth of an ounce. Many cameras accept this standard size memory card. It gets its power from the camera. There's also 2.0 GB of memory onboard, so it's a real memory card too.

The Wireless networking specs are impressive for something that looks like a little orange wafer. The range is over 90 feet outdoors and 45 feet indoors. Both 802.11b and 802.11g networks are supported, as are 802.11n networks that are backwards compatible. Security is built-in and includes support for Static WEP 40/104/128, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK configured networks. Keep you networked locked down and still be able to upload photos any time you want.

The other piece of magic is the Eye-Fi software. It runs on both PCs and Macs, and works with IE, Firefox and Safari browsers. You'll need your computer on and running the Eye-Fi Manager software when you want to transfer photos from your camera to your computer. The card remains inside the camera. The transfer is wireless. You just tell the software what folder to put your photos in and it takes care of the rest.

But that's only half the story. The other way to transfer photos is directly to the Internet. Your computer doesn't need to be on for this activity. You just need a working WiFi network. Your camera talks directly to your router and sends the pictures to the Eye-Fi server, where they are then formated and sent on to one of many sharing and printing Websites of your choosing. Logging in, passwords, and resizing are all handled automatically. Want to get those pix on Facebook as quickly as possible? Once you've set it up, all you need to do is get your camera within range of your network and up they go. Or send them to your TypePad blog for instant photojournalism.

Does Wireless photo transfer sound like it would be a time and effort saver for you? Learn more and get your Eye-Fi Card, Wireless 2 GB SD Memory Card now.

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