Eye-Fi: The Review

As Doug recently reported, Eye-Fi is 2GB SD device with a built-in WiFi transceiver. Like many of you, I hadn’t heard of the device until earlier this week and then, like so many things, it was seemingly everywhere.

Mike Galpert of Aviary Twittered about it’s brilliance, friends were chattering on about it, people were trying to trade sexual favors to try it, etc. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on one and maintain my chastity (at least what’s left of it).

At $99 the Eye-Fi is a reasonably priced 2GB SD card, at least by retail standards. The package (more on that in a minute) includes a 2GB SD card and a USB card reader. That alone is worth about $50 — but with WiFi added on, the price could have been gouged a lot higher. So I give props to Eye-Fi for releasing its product at a respectable price.

Eye-Fi comes packaged in a box similar to the ones that contain medicine samples (like birth control and Viagra).

As you can see in the video though, it creates a cool (it’s hip!) effect for the young company.

Fortunately, Eye-Fi isn’t just a pretty birth control box, it actually performs. The setup process is simple. It works on either Mac or PC and all the software is contained on the card. Simply plug it in via the included USB adapter, install the respective software and then you’re ready to adjust the device settings. It requires users to make an Eye-Fi account, but it’s free.

Through your account you can search available WiFi networks in your area and set your card to work on them. The card supports multiple networks and will actively switch between networks it has been setup for. I wish, though, that it’d automatically join open networks, without setup, but maybe there is some reason for not that. Then you select one of the many, many photo communities that it supports. I added my Flickr account and that was pretty much it — it was good to go.

With the card in your camera, you can fire off pictures while connected to your networks and it will actively upload them to whichever photo service you’ve selected. My pictures were appearing on Flickr within a few minutes. One thing you’ll notice, which isn’t much of a surprise, is that higher resolution images often prove challenging for the device. I suggest going for lower resolutions to ensure that Eye-Fi works optimally. Higher resolution images will upload, but it’s in a less real time capacity. You could probably expect it to work well once finished taking pics and you set the camera on your desk.

All-in-all, this is a solid device. It is comparable to any 2GB SD card on the market but it gives you the ability to upload your pictures in a much cooler fashion. And if you can’t wait, if you plug a loaded card into the USB reader, it will automatically upload your pictures to your photo service via USB. Yay, all-around convenience.

So if you’re in the market for an SD card for your camera, I can’t see any reason not to get the Eye-Fi. Not Best Bytes, but close. Seriously, go get this thing.