Eye-Fi expands hotspot coverage for Wi-Fi photo cards

Uploading photos, videos should be easier when you're out and about

Eye-Fi Geo X2 card

I’m really surprised that having Wi-Fi in your digital camera or video camcorder hasn’t taken off like I thought it would. Still, there are companies like Eye-Fi Inc., which are making it easier for users to upload images via Wi-Fi quickly. The company today announced its plans to add hundreds of thousands more Wi-Fi networks to its Hotspot Access service. By the end of May, Eye-Fi X2 users with an active Hotspot Access plan ($29.99 per year) will be able to upload photos and videos directly from their camera to their home computer and the Web from commercial and open Wi-Fi networks worldwide.

The company partnered with Devicescape, which provides Wi-Fi connectivity for mobile devices. The service will let Eye-Fi users with a personal subscription to a Wi-Fi hotspot provider (such as Boingo, BT Openzone, T-Mobile, SFR, Orange and Vodafone) add existing credentials to their Eye-Fi account. Users at schools and universities around the world can add campus Wi-Fi network credentials to their Eye-Fi account. In addition, you should be able to more easily get connected through other open hotspots because the Eye-Fi card can now navigate through splash screens.

Eye-Fi last month expanded coverage to more than 21,000 Wi-Fi hotspots with an AT&T partnership, which includes uploading at Starbucks, Marriott Hotels and Barnes & Noble book stores.

For a limited time (through May 31, 2010), Connect X2 and Geo X2 users can upgrade to the yearly plan for $14.99. Explore X2 and Pro X2 cards include one year of the Hotspot Access service. Cards range in price from $49.99 to $149.99, depending on storage capacity.

The company also announced its 4GB Geo X2 card ($69.99), a Wi-Fi-enabled memory car that integrates with Macintosh systems, iPhoto and MobileMe. The Geo X2 will be sold exclusively at Apple Stores. The card features an 802.11n transmitter, Class 6 read/write speeds, lifetime Geotagging and Endless Memory mode.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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