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Eye Fi: Doing the Cloud Before It Was Cool

One of the major trends emerging from the just-concluded Consumer Electronics Show is the migration of our digital content – photos, videos, music, documents, data – into the “cloud.” Of course, the cloud has been gaining steam for years now but with more and more people snapping photos and videos on their smartphones, a growing network of services like Apple’s iCloud are springing up to help you move your digital life off your phone and onto remote Internet servers.

Of course, many of these cloud services are pitched toward mobile users with apps that reside on your smartphone and intelligently transfer your photos and videos online without you having to do much. But it struck me, while walking the halls of CES, that some of the best aspects of these new cloud services have been available for years for digital camera owners in the form of the Eye Fi card.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about the Eye Fi memory card, you’ve been missing out on perhaps the best innovation in the digital photography market in the last several years. Simply put, the Eye Fi card turns a digital camera into a wireless camera and automatically uploads your photos and videos to an online service (a “cloud” service, if you will) of your choice and your desktop. All this is done automatically, whenever your camera is turned on and is in range of your network (you can also use Eye Fi cards in public hot spots like Starbucks if you enable that feature).

The Eye Fi card, in other words, is a lot like the iCloud for your digital camera – only far more feature-rich. It’s a great solution for managing your digital photos and videos, even if it hasn’t yet capitalized on the “cloud” buzz.


Author:Greg Scoblete

Greg Scoblete is the editor of Your Digital Life. He has been covering the photographic world for the past ten years for a variety of publications including PDN, This Week in Consumer Electronics and Digital Photographer.