Eye-fi Launches 8GB Wireless SD Card with Direct Mode for iOS & Android Right Behind
Eye-fi is launching a new 8GB SD card called Eye-Fi Mobile X2 that takes advantage of the Direct Mode capability announced at CES 2011. With the new higher capacity wireless SD card photographers can instantly and automatically transfer their full-resolution photos from their camera directly to a Wi-fi enabled iOS or Android device so long as the device has the app running.
The SD card is a fast class 6 SDHC card fast enough to keep up with most digital cameras on the market today, even if they are shooting in burst mode. The built-in Wi-fi capability supports 802.11n networks for fast wireless transfer. The new direct Wi-Fi transfer mode will be much faster than the old model of uploading to a web page and then downloading to the computer.
I have an Eye-fi card and have been frustrated because I cannot use it at a hotspot that uses proper security. My card cannot communicate with my computer due to the Wi-Fi security in place. Ninety-nine percent of the time that is a good thing because it also means that a criminal at the next table is going to have a hard time connecting to my laptop too. You can pay for the Eye-Fi hotspot service for an extra $30/year if you don’t have an X2 card already. But that won’t help with hotspots that have a click-through page. A click-through page is the page that loads when you first log onto many Wi-Fi hotspots. It requires you to click a log-on button or link. With Direct Mode, I can bypass the Wi-fi at the hotspot altogether. I can also connect directly even if there is no hotspot or Wi-Fi nearby.
To use Direct Mode you will have to have an Eye-Fi X2 card and a supported device that runs either iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) or Android. The apps will be available in their respective stores.
The 8GB Eye-Fi Mobile X2 is be $79.99 available for order at Amazon and will be in Best Buy stores on April 17. The Eye-Fi Pro X2, which has geotagging, support for RAW files and an 8GB capacity, will drop in price from $150 to just $99.99. All previously available X2 cards will support the new Direct Mode with a forthcoming firmware update which should be out this week.
Check out our review by editor Josh Smith at Notebooks.com of the previous generation 8GB Eye-Fi X2 card.
In the video below an Engadget editor talks to an Eye-fi representative who explains the new Direct Mode.