When I first installed a (Linksys) WiFi router two years ago I thought … great can now move the laptop around the house and not have to find an Ethernet jack in the wall. Today it’s not simply a laptop but my Blackberry 8820, my Nokia N95, my Nokia 800 and a Sony Mylo that are hooked up to WiFi. I could also set up my network to connect my SlingBox via a WiFi bridge. And I came home from New York with two more wireless accessories that are immediately changing the way I work.
Two weeks ago Andy told me about the Eye-Fi Wireless SD 2GB card that could be used with my 20-month-old Canon PowerShot camera (or any camera using SD memory). However, on finding that it is currently available in limited retail stores (and not at all in Canada), I made a note to stop by J&R in New York when there the past couple of days. Well worth the extra subway ride to lower Manhattan. Now when I take a picture it is both in a Folder on my laptop and available for Facebook within a couple of minutes.
No more removing the memory card from my camera, inserting it into a slot on my laptop, calling up a program to download the pictures, etc. Take a photo and it puts them directly into a designated Folder from which you can then sort, move and edit them with any photo management software. And at the same time you can have them uploaded to one of Flickr, Facebook, or online photo print shops for further handling and processing. For instance, with Facebook, they go to a "buffer" from which you can select pictures that you want to go to an Album for more public viewing.
To their credit they have provided an easy and excellent user setup and management experience. The card comes with a USB adapter which you initially plug into a PC, it will automatically load the Eye-Fi Manager which is really a web-based client that manages your activity. Its key functions include account profile management, upload history (to PC and Web), settings (WiFi – including security keys, Web access, default PC Folder), even lets you name the card should you have more than one. You then configure the card for the current WiFi network, remove it and place it in your camera. Take a photo; watch a thumbnail come up in the lower right corner of your laptop screen to announce its arrival in the designated Folder. Overall a delightful user experience!
Here is what I like. Often I would take pictures and, for whatever reason, not immediately transfer them to my PC, risking losing pictures should something unfortunate happen to the memory card or camera. And I had certain family members wondering why the pictures were not immediately available. So the Eye-Fi card not only simplifies the process of getting pictures into more permanent storage but also provides immediate backup. A real productivity enhancer overall. Price $99.99.
And see the next post for the other new Mobile@Home experience.
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