Do you consider yourself technologically savvy if you’re using your smartphone to make calls, check your email, surf the Web, manage your schedule, take photos, shoot video, listen to music, navigate via GPS, and update your Twitter and Facebook statuses? These days, this is just run of the mill stuff and not considered special. Below, you will see a different way of getting photos on to your smartphone.
Back in 2007, O’Reilly suggested that Web 2.0 was no longer limited to the PC platform, web applications were said to be above the level of a single device because even the simplest one involved a least two computers, the one hosting the web server and the one hosting the browser (O’Reilly, 2007). Only 5 years on, technology has already progressed so much further with more and more devices are connecting together. Why would anyone use a digital SLR camera these days when the camera on their smartphone makes it so easy to save and send images instantly. The only negative is the quality of the images……Now there is a new device that allows your camera to become wireless.
Hence the introduction of Eye-Fi, a device that attaches a smartphone to a digital SLR camera and “raises the camera’s IQ” (Holloway, 2012).
Basically, it is a memory card that is wireless. It fits into the camera just like a regular SDHC card. The built-in Wi-Fi transfers photos and videos to your iPhone, iPad, Android device or computer via a Web 2.0 app. It can automatically upload to 20 different web photo sites (like Flickr) as well as a computer on your home network or up to 32 other networks.
Then the options are endless as to what apps that can be used with it. Picture sharing, geotagging photographs, vibration monitoring and sound recording are among them. Perhaps most useful to dedicated photographers are light meter and depth of field calculator apps.
The high-end card has “endless memory” whereby the card intelligently makes space once content is safely delivered (Eye-Fi, 2012). Therefore the perfect shot is never missed because the memory card is full.
So after the advertisement, I need to justify why I have chosen this card as a good demonstration of how this is software that uses more than one device. Simply, this device now enables a camera the integrate data across many devices including desktops, mobile devices, and Internet servers (Watson, 2012).
Other similar Web 2.0 applications
Nikon has just released a wireless mobile adaptor (WU-1a) which enables simple sharing of photos captured with a digital-SLR camera with smart devices. This new device is an easy way to share high-resolution photos with other devices or people. Another nice feature is that it allows the camera’s live view display can be shown in the smart device screen for remote control over shooting, something the Eye-Fi card cannot do. Currently, this adaptor is compatible only with smart devices running the Android operating system (Nikon Corporation, 2012).
After a brief look around the internet, I cannot find any other companies that are offering this technology but please leave a comment if you know of any others.
In the Eye-Fi forums, users have complained about the battery life of their cameras decreasing rapidly in comparison to when they used the camera without the Eye-Fi card. The thoughts were whether the camera was constantly located within the same network area as the computer it was transferring to as it would be constantly trying to connect to download photos. The other thought was, users were leaving the camera on for much longer than required as it would download to computer than transfer to social media application. The camera could be switched off once the photos reached the computer.
Other difficulties are associated with setting up networks and transferring the images across automatically from the camera.
“Hotspot access” is another feature, but I see this as a privacy issue. With Hotspot Access, you’ll be able to upload from tens of thousands of AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots across the US just as easily as at home. These Wi-Fi hotspots are public networks aren’t they? I am not a hacker but I would think it would be easy to steal these images while they are on the public network?
Although this card seems to have a couple of issues with camera battery life and firewalls, I think making digital SLR cameras wireless is definitely the way forward. For professional photographers how easy would it be to go travelling and take thousands of photos, login to Flickr and have all the RAW photos available for editing. This would be a fantastic improvement over today’s process.
The future maybe in the way the camera is built so instead of just the memory card being wireless, the camera could have an IP address that could be accessible on the internet at anytime, by multiple users. That would hopefully solve the battery issues as the camera itself would be built appropriately without installing a third-party device. It would also solve the network issues and become ubiquitous computing at its best (Watson, 2012).
Eye-Fi. (2012). Endless Memory. Retrieved 25th April, 20121, from http://www.eye.fi/how-it-works/features/endless-memory
Holloway, J. (2012). Flash Dock attaches iPhone to DSLR, raises camera’s IQ. Digital Cameras Retrieved 23rd April, 2012, from http://www.gizmag.com/flash-dock/22200/
Nikon Corporation. (2012). Nikon releases the Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1a, which enables simple sharing of photos captured with a digital-SLR camera with smart devices. News 2012 Retrieved 23rd April, 2012, from http://www.nikon.com/news/2012/0419_wireless_mobile_adapter_02.htm
O’Reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software.
Watson, J. (2012). Software above the level of a single device. On Web 2.0 Applications. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology.