Eye-Fi the ingenious module that was created before the smartphone boom to help people liberate their snapshots from their cameras, has a new card designed to ship photos from a DSLR directly to a user’s smartphones or tablets. While many people point and click using their smartphone’s camera because it’s so easy to share, plenty of us (parents, travelers, journalists) relish the quality and features a dedicated camera can provide.
Which is why Eye-Fi, has always been an interesting little company. Its first product, launched in 2006, was designed to get photos off a camera and onto your PC without worrying about wires and synching. It also worked with some digital picture frames as well. But since most of us don’t want to ship snaps from our dedicated cameras to a PC and then to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, Eye-Fi needed something to keep up with our mobile addictions.
That apparently is the Mobi card, which costs $50 for an 8 GB option and $80 for a 16GB option. Users can ship photos direct to the their smartphones or tablets for editing and sharing, instead of waiting to transfer them later. The card provides its own Wi-Fi, so users just replace any camera’s standard SD card with Mobi, download the Eye-Fi app on their iOS or Android device, and start transferring.
The product speaks to several shifts that have occurred in the seven years Eye-Fi has been around. First, picture sharing has become part of the everyday, instant conversations people have, while the editing and sharing tools on a smartphone have become powerful enough for people to prefer those over any desktop. Eye-Fi’s making a bet, though, that despite our willingness to consider the smartphone’s apps and tools “good enough” for editing, we’re not entirely satisfied with our smartphone’s camera.
This is a good move for Eye-Fi, which risked becoming a super niche product for professional photographers who wanted to ship large photos to their desktops. While a majority of casual, smartphone picture-takers may never need this, anyone with a DSLR should take a look.