There are many questions we ponder on a daily basis here at Crave, such as, "Who, me, officer?" and "How does the mad old lady in the sandwich shop manage to cram in so much filling while still maintaining sandwichular structural integrity?" Another question never far from the back of our minds is, "What is the future?" And we tell you now, the Eye-Fi Wireless SD Memory Card is the future.
Well, sort of. We first saw the Eye-Fi card, and now it's available for $99.99 (around £50). As predicted, the card functions as a standard 2GB memory card, which then allows you to transfer your images via Wi-Fi to any of 17 online photo storage sites. If necessary, the card will automatically resize images for the destination site.
There's a short setup process, with the SD card plugged into your computer with a supplied card reader, and the card can then be slotted into your standard camera -- as long as it's on Eye-Fi's list -- and you're good to go. When we get our hands on one we'll test it out with some different cameras and see if it really is as easy to operate as Eye-Fi claims, and quick enough to be worthwhile.
Of course, public Wi-Fi is still rather patchy, even in London, and it won't be that useful if you run out of memory halfway up Machu Picchu, but we really do believe that Wi-Fi is the way forward. If Wi-Fi continues to improve, and becomes fast and reliable enough to make transfer speedy and effortless, we may see built-in wireless functionality becoming commonplace in cameras. If that's the case, wireless memory cards may prove to be an evolutionary blind alley.
Nonetheless, until Wi-Fi become standard in new cameras the Eye-Fi could fill the gap on current models, and retro-fit older cameras to make the most of wireless. Leaving us free to ponder all-important questions such as, "Was HAL evil, or just programmed funny?" -Rich Trenholm