Toshiba's FlashAir Wireless SDHC Card Rivals Eye-Fi

Eye-Fi really started something, huh? While SD cards were fine just holding memories and excess files for years, soon that became "not good enough." Eye-Fi added a wireless piece to the puzzle, enabling these cards to wirelessly send photos and such from the camera to the cloud/PC/etc. And now Toshiba's taking it one step further. The company recently announced FlashAir, an SDHC memory card that includes a wireless LAN function.

We're told that the company will begin to ship samples of the card in 8GB capacities starting this November, with "volume production" slated for February 2012. It's estimated that the card will cost around $85, and Toshiba will be obtaining certification related to wireless communication in Japan, North America and Europe. What will it be used for? Toshiba hopes that FlashAir can be used for "exchanging image data between two digital cameras via wireless communication without using a PC." Furthermore, data can be uploaded into and downloaded from a cloud service. Better still, the wireless function is disabled when wireless transfers aren't happening in order to conserve power.

The catch? You'll need a camera that supports FlashAir; currently, a handful of companies are considering support, but there really isn't too much hard news on that front. At least it'll still serve as a standard SDHC card even in cameras that don't support FlashAir. Now, the real question: will this kind of technology ever bleed over to CompactFlash?