Eye-Fi eyes photo transfers to your phone and tablet

The company's Direct Mode capability will let your phone or tablet download photos from your Eye-Fi X2-equipped camera.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin


LAS VEGAS--One oft-cited reason for the lack of cameras is that a lack of fast and easy wireless sharing capabilities keeps them from developing the ubiquity of a camera phone. Eye-Fi is planning on bridging the gap between traditional cameras and mobile devices like phones and tablets by adding a new capability, Direct Mode, to its existing Eye-Fi X2 product.

For the uninitiated, Eye-Fi's SD card line adds a variety of Wi-Fi file transfer capabilities (among other things) to any camera that uses SD cards. While the current generation allows for peer-to-peer connections between cameras and computers, Direct Mode will enable the card to create its own hot spot, so that devices running the company's app on a mobile operating system like Android will be able to pull photos off the camera and into the phone.

Slated to roll out later this year, the Direct Mode card update and associated apps will be free. Will this spur more people to forgo the phone cam in favor of a point-and-shoot? Hard to say, but it definitely sounds like a welcome capability for enthusiast photographers who like to showcase their work on large tablet screens. If you're attending CES, you can pop by and get a demo in booth No. 3615 in the "Living in Digital Times" section of the North Hall.