Eye-Fi has our photography bones a-tinglin' with Direct Mode, a new feature that lets you wirelessly transfer photos from Eye-Fi's range of X2 Wi-Fi enabled memory cards from your camera to your iPhone or Android device, more or less instantly.
Eye-Fi's X2 cards are capable of generating their own wireless networks, so they can be used away from your home Wi-Fi. You'll need to install either the Android or iOS Eye-Fi app on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet as well, but they're both free.
Next, search for the Eye-Fi from your mobile device. It'll show up just like a normal Wi-Fi network. Once connected, fire up the app, and when you take a photo on your digital camera, the image will be fired across the network to your tablet or phone.
We can see this coming in handy if you're on holiday and want to upload a photo to Facebook that doesn't look like it was taken with a mobile phone. Most tablets don't have an SD card slot, so if you want to get decent photos from your digital camera on to your iPad or Galaxy Tab, this is a cunning workaround.
It all worked fairly smoothly during our brief test. There was some lag in the transfer, but we were using the Eye-Fi at a tradeshow, so we're willing to accept that a connection overload in the vicinity could have been slowing things down.
Eye-Fi is launching Direct Mode alongside the new 8GB Mobile X2 memory card, but is also making the Direct Mode feature available to previous X2 Eye-Fi cards. Its Eye-Fi Pro X2 is dropping in price from £150 to £100 -- great news that eliminates one of our main criticisms.
The new Eye-Fi Mobile X2 will be available from 20 May, priced at £80. Click through
our hands-on photos above to see how it works.
Here's a photo on a digital camera. That earnest-looking fellow on the left is your humble Crave reporter.
Next, find the Eye-Fi's connection from your mobile device. We're using a Samsung Galaxy Tab.
There's a free iPhone app available too.
Photos you take will appear on your tablet automatically, as long as the app is open.