Eye-Fi heads into the new decade with a completely rearchitected design for its Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards for digital cameras. The system, an integrated ASIC dubbed "Arcturus," powers the new Eye-Fi Pro X2 card, delivering higher capacities, theoretically better speed and power usage, and an overhauled software interface with more of a client-side focus. The Pro X2 builds on the feature set available in the currently shipping Pro card.
Most notably, the new $149.99 Pro X2 card, which inaugurates SDHC support with an 8GB capacity rated at Class 6 performance, moves up to 802.11n wireless from 802.11g; according to the company, this allows for a better range for the radio as well as a better power-consumption profile. Simultaneous with the release, the company is updating its currently rather clumsy Web-based Eye-Fi Manager software. The company says the replacement, Eye-Fi Center, will be an Adobe AIR app that allows for more interaction with local content, such as drag-and-drop folders for uploading files already on your system, as well sending content already uploaded to Eye-Fi's servers to multiple locations (currently, you can only send to other locations on initial upload). These capabilities will be backwardly compatible for users of older Eye-Fi cards.
Not backwardly compatible is the new "Endless" memory mode, which deletes files as necessary from the card after they've been uploaded to ensure space is always available for new photos. The Arcturus architecture provides the code space necessary to manage the bidirectional communication. It also paves the way for future applications, such as official support for camcorders, in addition to the current support for video from cameras.
Eye-Fi's wireless solutions keep getting better, and this new generation is another step in the right direction.