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Wireless wave liberates cameras [Global Times]
[January 17, 2014]

Wireless wave liberates cameras [Global Times]

(Global Times Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Photo: IC   Wi-Fi-enabled secure digital (SD) cards have hit the market, dragging run-of-the-mill digital cameras into the wireless age. Digital cameras and camcorders all use SD cards, but few of these devices have their own wireless functionality. With the wireless boost from SD cards, a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera can now ride the mobile Internet wave, dispensing with time-consuming cable connections or yanking cards from slots and jamming them into other devices. "There are cameras with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity," Estella Yang, a photography lover in her late 20s told the Global Times on Wednesday, "but it remains rare beyond the realm of professional DLSRs." A wireless SD card renders redundant a DSLR camera with inbuilt Wi-Fi functionality, Yang said.As a bonus, a wireless SD card can share and transfer files with multiple machines at the same time. Since the SD Association unveiled its first wireless SD memory card standard at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2012, the choice of wireless SD cards has expanded almost exponentially."The addition of wireless capability to the existing SD memory card standard will enable SD memory cards to remain relevant to shifting market demand, and add value to consumers and manufacturers of new cameras, tablets and mobile phones," Michael Yang, senior principal analyst of memory and storage at the US-based market watcher IHS, was quoted as saying in the SD Association statement at the time. Through an agreed standard, SD card manufacturers have capitalized on the wireless wave, intruding into the turf of California-based Eye-Fi, reportedly the first to offer SD card wireless connectivity back in 2006 when smartphones and tablets did not dominate. Publicly available statistics as to shipments of wireless SD cards are yet to be seen, but a look at the entire SD memory card sector may give a glimpse of growth momentum in the market.The global marketplace for SD cards is estimated to exceed $21 billion in 2018, Washington-headquartered patent holding firm Pendrell Corporation said in a statement released in March 2013, while ­announcing its acquisition of patent portfolios from the ailing Finnish cellphone maker Nokia covering memory technologies for electronic devices.

Eye-Fi Mobi SDHC Class 10 Wireless Memory Card Eye-Fi Mobi SDHC Class 10 Wireless Memory CardEye-Fi is the vanguard of the wireless SD card arena, which has retained its appeal despite an ever-cramped market. In February 2012, shortly after the SD Association's announcement of the new standard, the company said it had raised $20 million funding, led by Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo. In the latest move to defend its cachet, the company announced a 32-gigabyte version of its Eye-Fi Mobi card in late October. Boasting the simplest setup, unreliant on computer or cloud, a download of its free Eye-Fi app designed for Apple's iOS and Google's Android and entering its proprietary 10-digit code pairs your gadget for transfer. The 32-gigabyte version sells for $99.99, according to the company, while its previous models come in at $49.99 for 8 gigabytes and $79.99 for 16 gigabytes.

Toshiba FlashAir II Wireless SD Card Toshiba FlashAir II Wireless SD CardJapanese technology giant Toshiba, along with Matsushita and SanDisk introduced the SD card in 1999. Flexing its muscle in the wireless SD field, Toshiba unfolded the FlashAir II Wireless SD Card in November. The card features storage capacity of up to 32 gigabytes, allowing a quick, easy and secure sharing and transferring of files. Toshiba claims the card capable of uploading images and videos in seconds. The card retails for $79.99 for the 16-gigabyte version and $99.99 for the 32-gigabyte model. With the card, users are capable of sharing photos and videos instantaneously across multiple PCs, tablets and smartphones, according to Toshiba.  Transcend 32 GB Wi-Fi SDHC Class 10 Memory Card Transcend 32 GB Wi-Fi SDHC Class 10 Memory Card Taipei-based Transcend is also a major player in the global Wi-Fi memory card market after jumping on the bandwagon a few months after the SD Association released the new standard. Its latest wireless offering comes in two models - 16 and 32 gigabyte - which both tout up to its Class 10 speed rating. The card offers two models for users - direction share and Internet - allowing peer-to-peer connections between camera and a maximum of three other Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets, or a switch to the Internet model launching a connection to the Internet via a specific mobile app. The price tags are set at $58.99 for the 32-gigabyte capacity and $45.99 for the 16-gigabyte version.

SanDisk Connects Wireless Flash Drive SanDisk Connects Wireless Flash DriveMemory card veteran SanDisk is also among the list of top-favored wireless SD card vendors. Its up-to-data offering the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive with a boosted storage space of 64 gigabytes was showcased by the company during this year's January 7-10 Consumer Electronics Show. The drive features instant Wi-Fi capabilities for devices including iPad, iPhone and Kindle Fire. The card also touts a connection to up to eight devices as well as the capacity to stream media to up to three devices at the same time, without the need for Internet connectivity. The drive can be recharged through USB for up to four hours of continuous streaming. The 64 gigabyte product costs $99.99, while its 32-gigabyte model sells for $49.99 and its 16 gigabyte is $59.99.

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