What do you do when you want to transfer the photos in the SD Memory card of your camera, to say, an online destination like Facebook? You either remove the SD card, connect it to a computer, transfer its contents and then upload (or) you connect your camera via USB cable and transfer the SD card contents to the computer and then upload.
You are still in 2012!! 🙂
At least three companies (Eye-Fi, Toshiba, Transcend) have introduced SD Memory cards with built-in Wireless adapter that creates its own Wi-Fi network and connects to your computer, mobile or Tablet directly over the wireless medium!!
So, when you click a photo, you can see the preview almost immediately, not only on your tiny camera screen but also on a laptop/tablet, if you use these Wi-Fi SD Memory cards. Some of these cards support Internet (and) computer/mobile device to be connected over the WI-Fi, and hence you can directly upload pictures to your Facebook account/cloud storage provider from the camera! Wireless SD Memory Card manufacturers offer Mobile Apps for phones/tablets to connect and manage SD card operations.
If a 32 GB Class 10 SD card costs around $20 – $30 USD, the Wi-Fi SD Card costs around $65 to $100. That’s a huge price difference, isn’t it? When a Wi-Fi adapter is built into such a small device, obviously there will be a cost associated with it.
But is the cost difference between the two types of SD cards, justified?
That depends on your application. If you carry around a heavy laptop on a trip only to upload photos from your camera to facebook, you might as well want to use this Wireless SD card in your camera and use tablet/mobile devices and do the same thing, easier. If you are a professional photographer or a person who takes/uses photos frequently, you might find the app on mobile devices that gives an instant full preview on tablets/computers, instead of the small preview on the camera screen, very useful.
There are a few limitations to the Wi-Fi SD card, as well. The higher cost is one. Also, since the SD card draws power from the device it’s plugged in, there will be a higher strain on the battery – the camera *for example* will lose charge faster. However, there are enhancements built-into these SD cards that switch the Wi-Fi adapter on only when required and automatically switch it off, during other times.
Security may not be a big issue once you change the default password to something only you can remember. Since the wireless signals are encrypted, others will not be able to access your pictures. Some cameras may go to stand-by automatically, and that might affect the file-transfer (in progress). A simple fix is to increase the auto stand-by timing.
The concept of a Wi-Fi adapter built into a tiny SD card is surely fascinating to me. But buying it or not will depend on the application. Is that small increase in price going to save you a lot of strain/time? Then go for it!
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