TechCrunch is reporting on two new cards being added to Eye-Fi’s lineup of wireless memory cards. I covered Eye-Fi last in October of last year when they released their 2GB card.
In addition to their 2GB card that directly uploads your photos to any of about a dozen photo sharing sites for $100, Eye-fi now is releasing a cheaper card for $80 that doesn’t include wi-fi uploading but will allow you to wireless transfer your photos from the card to your home computer.
Eye-Fi’s new $130 card though is the one that is more interesting to me. With the new Eye-Fi Explore card, Eye-Fi is now using wi-fi networks to try and auto geotag the photos that you take. Now that’s pretty cool. Although there are separate hand held GPS devices that you can use to try to later merge a file with your camera’s photos to auto geotag, having it happen automatically in the camera sounds much easier.
I haven’t played with the new card yet and I’m not sure exactly how accurate the geotags are, but still auto-geotagging seems pretty cool. Right now wi-fi is using Wayport’s wi-fi hotspots (they claim 10,000+ hotspots, including every McDonalds) and your $130 price includes a year of this service for the memory card. My guess is that the technology probably doesn’t work very well in non-urban areas with no wi-fi around, but in dense urban areas like Manhattan or San Francisco auto-geotagging probably works pretty well.
The new Eye-Fi cards are scheduled to be available on June 6th. More on the new cards here.
I’m still not sure the Eye-Fi card is for me though. I carry two 8GB cards with me and swap them in and out as I need room offloading photos to my MacBook Pro that is always with me. I shoot 200-400 photographs a day and only in RAW. Because I shoot so much I’m just not sure that I could survive on a 2GB card.
The geotagging feature is pretty cool though.
I keep having these fantasies (yes I fantasize about digital cameras) that when the new Canon 5D comes out that it will have some sort of auto geotagging GPS chip inside of it. I’m sure eventually all of the cameras will have GPS included which will make the painful chore of manually geotagging your photos a thing of the past.
Right now, by the way, I use Google Earth and the free software Geotagger for the Mac to do all of the geotagging on my photos. This works much easier than geotagging your photos on Flickr or Zooomr and also geotags at the file level (which can then be autoread by Flickr or Zooomr on upload) making sure that you will always have that information associated with your photo in the EXIF data.