Eye-Fi

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an Eye-Fi card for sale in Tokyo, February 2010

Eye-Fi is a company based in Mountain View, California that produces SD memory cards and SDHC cards with Wi-Fi capabilities. Using an Eye-Fi card inside a digital camera, one can wirelessly and automatically upload digital photos to a local computer or a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

Eye-Fi offer three models, varying in speed, storage capacity, and software services provided.[1][2]

Hardware[edit]

The card is manufactured for Eye-Fi by Wintec Industries Inc. of Milpitas, California, and contains the following major components:

Software[edit]

The upload to remote services is via the local Eye-Fi server which has full visibility of the photos and the associated user name and password . The server then uploads to the user's remote storage site and sends the user an email to notify them that the photos have been uploaded to their storage site.

By default, every picture on the camera is wirelessly uploaded to local Eye-Fi servers.[3] Some models also allow for uploading photos to photo sharing, blogging and social networking sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and PhotoBucket;[4] and some models also allow for uploading videos, both to a personal computer or mobile device and to YouTube.[5]

"Share" versions allow uploading to various photo-sharing websites. The "Share Video" card allows uploading videos as well. The "Pro" adds raw image support and peer-to-peer or ad-hoc networking.[6] The "Pro X2" added class 6 read & write speeds, 802.11n and a new feature named "Endless Memory Mode" that automatically deletes images from the card after they are delivered to their intended destination; all of these have since been migrated to the Connect X2 and Mobile X2.

Pictures are sent from the camera to the local computer using a protocol based on SOAP. This uses an HTTP connection to the server software running on the local computer. Official Eye-Fi server software is available for Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X and enthusiasts have developed server software for other operating systems.

Certain cards offer photo geotagging (WPS) through relationships with Google and hotspot access through relationships with various providers. The location is not locally recorded in conventional Exif coordinate form, but is inserted into Exif upon upload.[7] The Pro X2 ships with both free lifetime geotagging and 1 year of free hotspot access, as did the Explore X2. The Geo X2 offered free lifetime geotagging, but not free hotspot access. Other models can be upgraded (for a fee) to include both features.

Settings of the Eye-Fi card such as wireless network access, selecting upload location on local computer and configuring photo sharing sites is done through software called the Eye-Fi Center which is available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Recently mobile access (in beta) has been added via a browser by visiting: http://m.center.eye.fi

Before use of any Eye-Fi card the user must "register" on the Eye-Fi website, in doing so the card software demands the firewall to be opened for the Eye-Fi software,[3] the same happens every time the user needs to reconfigure its wireless network with the network data ending up sent and stored to Eye-Fi servers and that happens by default to every single picture too.[8]

iOS[edit]

Eye-Fi offers an iPhone app, but it is only available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan App Store.[9]

Android[edit]

There is also an app available for Android [10] in the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.eye.android

Linux[edit]

Under Linux, the EyeFi card can be configured using eyefi-config, which allows viewing the logfiles and changing the wireless settings. To receive images from the card, there are several alternatives, EyeFi Framework, EyeFiServer including a Synology installer (in Python), eyefiserver2 (Python-based), iiid (in C++), RyFI (Ruby based) and Node-Eyefi (NodeJS). However, the UploadKey and TransferMode must still be defined from within Windows/Mac for the first use: although 'eyefi-config -k' has the capability to "print card's unique key", this isn't the UploadKey that is needed.

Technical features[edit]

16GB Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card
  • Wi-Fi security: Static WEP 64/128, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK
  • Range: 90+ feet (27.4m) outdoors and 45+ feet (13.7m) indoors
  • Storage capacity: 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB
  • Power: Powered through device.
  • Card dimensions: SD standard 32mm x 24mm x 2.1mm
  • Card weight: 2.835 gram (0.1oz.)
  • 802.11b/g + WMM + TSPEC Support [11]

Supported photo services[edit]

Scanner support[edit]

Some portable document scanners such as the Doxie Go + Wi-Fi and the Xerox Mobile Scanner make use of an Eye-Fi card to provide Wi-Fi capability for document upload.

Awards and accolades[edit]

Eye-Fi has won the following recognition:

In November 2007, Wall Street Journal writer Katherine Boehret called the Eye-Fi card "a terrific little tool".[17]

The magazine Wired placed the Eye-Fi Pro on their "2009 Wish List", calling it "Arbus meets Airbus".[18]

In October 2010, Time magazine technology editor Peter Ha placed the original 2 GB Eye-Fi card on his list of "the 100 greatest and most influential gadgets from 1923 to the present".[19]

History[edit]

Eye-Fi was founded in 2005 by Yuval Koren, Ziv Gillat, Eugene Feinberg and Berend Ozceri.[20] Jef Holove became the CEO in September 2007,[21] with Yuval Koren taking over in May 2011.

Discontinued models include "Explore X2", "Geo X2", "Pro", "Geo", "Home/Video", "Share/Video", "Explore Video" and an "Anniversary Edition".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eye-Fi Products: Compare WiFi Cards: the Pro X2 and Mobi
  2. ^ Eye-Fi current products
  3. ^ a b Why do I need internet connection for local upload? Retrieved on 2012-01-20
  4. ^ Eye-Fi introduces camera cards that wirelessly uploads videos to the Web and an iPhone app Retrieved on 2009-05-19
  5. ^ Eye-Fi Share Video 4GB SD card with Wi-Fi Retrieved on 2009-06-15
  6. ^ EYE-FI INTRODUCES A WIRELESS MEMORY CARD FOR PHOTO ENTHUSIASTS Retrieved on 2009-06-15
  7. ^ How Eye-Fi geotagging works
  8. ^ Why did we develop a desktop app? Retrieved on 2012-01-20
  9. ^ "Outside US". Eye-Fi. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  10. ^ "Android App". Eye-fi. 
  11. ^ AR6001GL Embedded 802.11b/g Solution for Mobile and Battery-Operated Devices
  12. ^ Best of CES Award Winners Jan 9, 2010
  13. ^ 2010 Innovations Honorees Jan 7, 2010
  14. ^ a b Eye-Fi enables seamless experience with Snow Leopard (press release), August 27, 2009
  15. ^ Eye-Fi wins Last Gadget Standing contest, again! (press release), January 11, 2009
  16. ^ And the winners are..., lastgadgetstanding.com, January 13, 2009
  17. ^ No Excuses: a Wire-Free Way to Upload Photos, Katherine Boehret, The Mossberg Solution, The Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2007
  18. ^ Wish List 2009, Wired, December 2009
  19. ^ All-TIME 100 Gadgets, Peter Ha, Time, October 25, 2010
  20. ^ Eye-Fi: About Us: Management
  21. ^ Jef Holove biography, Where 2.0 Conference

External links[edit]