Hearing that Flip
's camcorder line was being shut down today by Cisco
was quite the shock. But when you look at a company like Eye-Fi, one has to wonder what makes one niche startup more viable than the other. Eye-Fi has been an underground success story, never quite hitting the mainstream, but obviously popular enough amongst the tech junkies to keep a good thing going. The company's new Mobile X2 card is an 8GB Secure Digital card that allows for instant uploads anywhere by wirelessly connecting the camera to a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
The new feature is Direct Mode, which pairs up with iOS or Android and uses an existing wireless radio to transmit pictures from anywhere. It offloads the wireless duties from the card to a device, and given the proliferation of wireless devices out there with embedded 3G or Wi-Fi, this is probably for the best. The card is also just $79.99, and the Direct Mode apps will be free of charge. The Eye-Fi card can now establish a direct connection to the mobile device by creating its own Wi-Fi network anywhere users capture memories, even if that is miles from a Wi-Fi hotspot. Whether they are hiking or at the beach, consumers can now send photos and videos directly from their digital camera to the Eye-Fi app on their smartphone or tablet, enabling them to back up, edit and share their memories in the moment.
Direct Mode benefits extend beyond device-to-device transfers. Whether users want to edit their memories using the myriad of apps on their mobile devices, back them up on their home computer, or save them in a private Eye-Fi account, they now have the flexibility and control of where, how and when the media is stored, edited and shared. Eye-Fi Mobile X2 is available for pre-orders immediately on Amazon.com, and available at Apple and Best Buy stores nationwide for $79.99 on April 17, 2011. Direct Mode will be available as a free upgrade to all Eye-Fi X2 cards later this week, along with accompanying free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Furthermore, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 will be reduced from $149.99 to $99.99 starting this month.