Eye-Fi moves pics to the cloud automagically

CES 2011: Direct Mode talks to phones

Eye-Fi logoEYE-FI MAY NOT have new cards to show off, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t showing off worthwhile new features. At CES, they added background dumping to the cloud via cell phones, amazingly handy if done right.

The short story is that Eye-Fi makes an SD card with WiFi built in. The new 2nd gen cards have a really nice feature, they can automagically dump pictures to a WiFi enabled device, say a laptop, when they fill to a certain capacity. If all goes well, they effectively have infinite capacity.

The new Eye-Fi feature, called Direct Mode, will be available to all X2 cards in the near future. What it adds is the ability to interface with software running on your smartphone, currently Android, but the fruity phone probably will come soon.

Direct Mode dumps the pics to your phone when you take them, or whenever you set it to do so, and from there, the software can put it on Facebook, Flickr, and many others. With a little bit of scripting, you can probably just dump the pics to a folder, and have whatever you want parse them in lots of interesting ways.

The firmware update to do Direct Mode will be a free upgrade, and the cards themselves are $49 for the 4GB ‘connect’ and a bit more for the 8G ‘Explore’. Above that is an 8GB ‘Pro’ which adds raw picture handling and ad-hoc mode WiFi, but the Explore should be more than enough for most.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate