Eye-Fi Technology Lets You Share Photos Instantly & Virally.

This is a cross-blog post from Network Solution’s Solutions Are Power website that I guest wrote. Originally posted on SolutionsArePower.com on September 16, 2009.

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Some of you may know that I’m an avid photographer. I like to carry around a nice professional camera when I know I’m going to events simply because I love to take pictures of things, people, art, etc just for the memories. I probably don’t do anything with them except post them online, but I find myself wanting to do it a bit more instantly just to be the first to say I have my photos online before anyone else – a bit competitive, I agree, but thankfully there is a new company out there that allows you to do exactly that.

It’s called Eye-Fi and their claim to fame is the fact that they have created a unique memory card for cameras (brand agnostic) that allows people to take pictures and have it instantly through wireless or mobile Internet broadcast to their site of choice, typically Flickr. Here’s how it works:

Eye-Fi Process

You take the SD format memory card that you’ve purchased from Eye-Fi (because not any ole’ memory card will do) and you first set it up online. Once you’ve registered the memory card with Eye-Fi, simply insert the SD card into any camera – it can be a point & shoot, a professional DSLR , etc and then start snapping photos. Through Wi-Fi signals, the photos you take will be sent to whatever websites you want and that Eye-Fi supports.

And it’s not hard to find one of the websites that Eye-Fi supports: there are over 20 photosharing sites, including some of the most popular ones currently online: Costco, Evernote, Flickr, Fotki, Kodak Gallery, Photobucket, Picasa, Shutterfly, Typepad and YouTube.

So what’s the big deal about having the ability to post photos and videos instantly?

I think that the instant posting phenomenon has huge implications on how information is conveyed. With the advent of things like live-blogging and citizen journalism, you’re going to be able to go to conferences, news events and simply upload photos with professional quality rather than your mobile phone (although granted mobile devices are getting better with their camera quality, such as with the iPhone). But if you happen to be going to an event like the most recent Apple one here in San Francisco and snap a photo of Steve Jobs, you’re going to want to be able to post it instantly to prove that he’s still alive (which is true and we hope for his continued recovery).

For businesses, you can take advantage of this technology, perhaps by through contests where you invite people to take photos of their experience using your product or service and instantly it goes to a Flickr set or another photo sharing site and then gets populated onto another site via an RSS stream. Live video recordings with people at your events or during interviews would be helpful as well for businesses.

But for me, as a photographer, I don’t always take the best photos of people so I don’t want them to necessarily go online and be “representative” of my work. According to Eye-Fi, if I’m in this situation, their technology allows me to simply select which photos I want to post online. So if I happen to take an unflattering photo of someone or something, I can easily remove it without it being posted online. Pretty smart…

You can even take a look at Eye-Fi’s sample video to see how the system works:

Currently, Eye-Fi allows you to buy up to a 4gb memory card through their site and the difference between the cards is the features offered, such as JPEG photo uploads, sharing capabilities, video uploading, geo-tagging, Wi-Fi hotspot access, Raw photos uploading, and some other features – so you’re going to need to choose which version of the Eye-Fi card you want.

So if you’re interested in getting photography and video to be a bigger part of your business and want to create more instant content, I’m thinking that the Eye-Fi should be part of your arsenal of consideration.

So snap to it!

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."