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Gadget of the Week – Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Cards

Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Cards

This week’s Gadget of the Week is a series of handy little products from a small company that goes by the name of Eye-Fi.

Eye-Fi makes secure digital (SD) memory cards that operate like any other storage cards for your digital camera, except these cards have a little secret: They have WiFi built-in to let you wirelessly upload your photos to a PC or laptop.

Eye-Fi’s SD cards come in a few assorted flavors, each with a slightly different functionality:

The Eye-Fi Home at $79.99 for 2GB of storage is the most basic version, allowing you to wirelessly upload photos to your computer. For an additional $20, you can purchase the Eye-Fi Share and get their WebShare application, which also allows you to upload photos to over 20 of the most popular photo-sharing sites.

Using its SmartBoost capability, the card determines the most efficient path to upload pictures, going to your computer if it’s on and then from there to the web if you’ve elected to share online.  If the computer is turned off, it can still go straight to the web, securely storing the photos and delivering them to the computer the next time it’s turned on.

For $129.99, you can get the Eye-Fi Explore, which automatically adds geographic location labels to your photos (“geo-tagging”) and allows you to upload from more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation.

Right now Eye-Fi is also offering the Anniversary Edition, which doubles the capacity of the Eye-Fi Share for an extra $30.00.

Each Eye-Fi card comes with the Eye-Fi Manager software. Insert the card and the Eye-Fi card reader into your Mac or PC to install the Manager software. No separate CD is required – everything you need to get started is right on the card.

The Eye-Fi Manager software consists of two parts: a small application that runs on your computer and a web-based application that you access via your Internet browser. The Eye-Fi Manager web application is your tool for setting up and managing your photo upload experience.

Once installation is complete, the Eye-Fi software application will continue to run on your computer for future wireless uploads from your Eye-Fi card. The Eye-Fi software application acts as the “receiver” for your incoming photos, making sure they arrive at your selected computer folder destination.

After that, pop the card into your digital camera and start capturing memories like you would with any other memory card. It stores pictures like a regular SD card no matter where you are and uploads automatically as soon as you return to your wireless network. All you have to do is turn the camera on!

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Eye-Fi announced it is developing a way for users to wirelessly upload videos from their digital camera to YouTube and their home computer. The new video upload service will support full-resolution HD video.

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