In 2007, Mountain View's Eyefi (formerly Eye-Fi) was the first to release an SD memory card that gave compatible digital cameras the ability to transfer images wirelessly to computers over Wi-Fi. A few years later, the company included an "endless memory" feature that checked for successful upload and deleted the image on the card to free up space. Last year, saw the launch of Eye-Fi Mobi cards which made it easier to throw images over to mobile devices, and now a private online storage service has been announced, offering unlimited photo uploads and allowing users to instantly share captured moments with friends and family over multiple devices.
"Photo lovers know that life's most important moments should be captured using a digital camera, but it's difficult to access those shots until long after the images are taken," said Eyefi's CEO Matt DiMaria. "Eyefi Cloud makes those highest-quality shots available within seconds of them being captured, so photographers can immediately enjoy quality images on the beautiful displays of their smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV."
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Eyefi Cloud works in conjunction with new mobile apps for iOS and Android and a Mobi SD card slotted into the user's digital camera. When a photo is snapped, the Mobi card starts transferring the image from camera to connected smartphone or tablet "within milliseconds." The new apps then organize the uploads and forward them in full resolution to the Eyefi Cloud using the internet-connected mobile device as a go-between.
The treasured memories can be managed and viewed from any device running the Eyefi apps or via a browser portal before sending out album invites to allow others to take a look. If you want to add photos to collections, the service will issue a notice to those you've chosen to share your album with that a new image has been uploaded. Snappers with more than one camera will no doubt be pleased to note that the Eyefi Cloud will merge photos taken using different Eyefi-packing devices into a single organized collection.
Pricing for an Eyefi Mobi wireless SD card starts at US$49 for 8 GB of physical storage and a 3-month membership of the Eyefi Cloud service (starting from when a new account is activated). Existing Eyefi Mobi users can download the new apps from the Apple app store, Google Play or Amazon's Kindle Store to receive a 3-month membership.
A year's membership then runs to $49, with users able to store an unlimited number of photos. Though that effectively means that the sky's the limit for your online photo storage needs, as our recent comparison demonstrated, there are many Cloud providers offering a good wedge of free space on their secure servers, and relatively cheap incremental charges thereafter.