Photokina is a large show spread across many halls. Tucked away in one of those halls is something called the USA Pavilion. No they aren’t serving Freedom Fries or Vienna Beef hotdogs from Wrigley Field, it is just a small grouping of booths showcasing some interesting technology based in the “States”.
One of these companies is Eye-Fi. It is not a new introduction but it is worth mentioning (and they do have an update at Photokina).
Eye-Fi makes an SD card, plain and simple. So do SanDisk and Lexar. The difference is that this SD card also has a Wi-Fi radio built into the card. The image is still stored on the card just like a regular SD card, but once the camera is done writing to the card it wirelessly transmits it to the hard drive on your computer.
Yes there are other solutions out there that are more geared to professionals (and carry a professional price) but the Eye-Fi is geared to sharing photos. At Photokina they were showing a new upgrade that increased the speed of transfer of pictures. At the booth they were taking pictures of people walking by the booth with a Nikon D70, and the pictures kept popping up on the iMac they had setup. (As I told someone on the trade show floor I understand how a lot of this technology works but I can’t help but still call it magic.)
They have three versions of the card: the home version downloads to your computer (Mac or Windows); the Eye-Fi Share allows you to upload to your computer and photo sharing sights like Flickr, Snapfish and others, and lastly, the Eye-Fi Explore allows you to use certain Wi-Fi hotspots to connect for uploading. One interesting thing is that if you have the share version, you can upload images even though your computer isn’t on.
The cards start out at $79.