Eye-Fi adds and automates geotagging of photos

Following the introduction of the Eye-Fi Wi-Fi card for digital cameras (see PMA08: digital cameras connect to photo sharing), Eye-Fi announces today Eye-Fi Explore including a Wi-Fi based geolocalization of photos thanks to a partnership with Skyhook Wireless.

The card uses built-in wireless technology to locate nearby Wi-Fi access points when pictures are captured within the Skyhook coverage area. The Eye-Fi service uses this information to encode each photo with geographic locations, and the images arrive on the user’s computer and online sharing account automatically tagged.

In North America, Skyhook currently provides coverage of more than 70 percent of the population. In Europe, the top 50 metropolitan areas are covered, along with 70 percent of the population in Germany, France and the UK. The rest of Western Europe is announced to be covered in mid-summer 2008. Coverage expansion in key Asian markets, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other countries is currently underway.

Scheduled to be available to consumers beginning June 6, 2008, the Eye-Fi Explore wireless memory card will also give users the freedom to upload photos while away from home at one of Wayport’s 10,000+ hotspot locations. By simply turning on the camera in a Wayport location, the card will automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network and begin uploading photos to the Web and the user’s PC or Mac.

The photographer does not need to have a Wayport account or a laptop with them to upload pictures for free from their digital camera. Eye-Fi will notify users via SMS or e-mail messages regarding the progress of the upload session.

Wayport enables public and private applications across the U.S. in major hotels, McDonald’s restaurants, Hertz airport locations, and other top retail brands.


PMA08: digital cameras connect to photo sharing (at last)

For sure, recent PMA was the opportunity for numerous announcements. Quite logically, my interest went to digital camera manufacturers showing photo sharing connectivity.

The first pretty impressive was the Samsung GX-20 with its optional battery pack featuring Wi-Fi connectivity. Demonstrated at the show was upload to Picasa. Flickr also showed up in the menus but not done due to contractual reasons.

Lumix previewed a nice implementation allowing both upload to Picasa and sending by e-mail.

My preference goes to Eye-Fi, a small SD card featuring 2 Gbytes of storage and an automatic Wi-Fi based upload of the photos either to my computer or to photo sharing sites. Once connected to the defined Wi-Fi network, the card automatically uploads the pictures as defined. The list of supported photo sharing sites is already impressive. No doubt that KoffeePhoto will be added soon.

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