Gadling gear review – Eye-Fi + MiFi + WiFi = wireless camera uploads

I love it when technology works – and I love technology even more when great technology works together with other great technology.

A good example of this, is the combination of the Verizon Wireless MiFi personal hotspot, and the Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card.

We covered the Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 several days ago. As a quick reminder, the MiFi lets you connect to the Verizon Wireless broadband network using any WiFi enabled device.

The Eye-Fi passed through Gadling last year, and was picked as one of our best travel technology products of 2008. Eye-Fi is a normal SD memory card with 2GB of storage and an integrated WiFi adapter. This allows you to take photos, and upload them to the Internet (or your own PC) any time you are in range of a suitable WiFi signal.

Smart readers will already see where I am heading with this article – Eye-Fi + MiFi + WiFi = instant uploads of your photos, no matter where you are (as long as you have a Verizon signal).

The combination works surprisingly well. The upload speeds on the Verizon Wireless MiFi are sufficient to upload a photo in about a minute, which means you can snap a photo, and it’ll be available in your photo album right away.

Technology like this has been available for some time on mobile phones with applications like Shozu and PicPush (and even with the Eye-Fi application for the iPhone). But the Eye-Fi and MiFi lets you upload “real” photos – not just camera phone pictures.

Getting the combination to work is surprisingly simple. You plug the Eye-Fi card into your computer, and open the Eye-Fi manager. Then, with the Verizon MiFi turned on, you let the Eye-Fi scan for a wireless network. Once you detect the MiFi, you add it and enter its password.

That is all there is to it – next time you are out making photos, you can simply turn the MiFi on, and shoot away.

In order to let your camera stay on long enough to upload all the photos, you may need to disable or alter its power saving mode, but thanks to the Eye-Fi service, you’ll get an email when the photo transfer start (or stops).

Being able to offload your photos as soon as you take them, means you can show people back home what you are doing, and it provides a safe way to work with your pictures – even if you happen to lose your camera, your photos will already be back home on your PC or in your photo album. Eye-Fi supports uploads to 25 different photo sharing services.

I did notice one thing that was not working correctly – the Eye-Fi geotagging feature does not work when you use it in combination with the MiFi. Eye-Fi uses your WiFi location system to determine where you are, but since it is constantly connected to the MiFi, it won’t get an accurate fix on where you are.

And if you happen to be in the market for a very affordable way to get your own Eye-Fi card, check out this deal at for their 4GB anniversary edition card, selling for just $60.

All in all, a great combination of technology, and one that works extremely well. Plus, just how often do I get to write an article with so many funny sounding buzzwords? EyeFiMiFiWiFi would make a great name for an 80’s pop band.

10 gadgets to make summer travel more enjoyable – The Gadling Gear Review

Now summer is finally on its way, you are probably looking closely at the travel deals out there, waiting to pick an affordable destination (hint: check out our hot travel deals!).

Before you spend all your hard earned cash on your plane tickets, why not invest in some gadgetry to make your trip more enjoyable? Here are 10 gadgets that can help you carry more, get online (in the air), capture your fun, keep your photos safe and help power all that stuff.

Tom Bihn Tri-Star bag

Wouldn’t travel be easier if you could pack everything you need for a short trip, in one bag? Would life become perfect if that bag could be a shoulder bag, backpack and duffel bag? Then check out the new Tri-Star from Tom Bihn bags.

This 3-in-1 bag makes smart use of its space, and has room for clothes, a laptop and any other small items you want to carry along with you.

Price: $240
Where: (ships late June)

EyeFi Video card

EyeFi was featured in our top 25 best travel products of 2008.

The EyeFi card is an SD memory card with a twist – built inside this tiny card is a WiFi adapter, and any time your camera is in range of a wireless access point, it sends its photos to a variety of sources. The card supports uploads to your home PC, but also to most online photo hosting sites.

For 2009, EyeFi took their excellent product, upped the storage space to 4GB, and added support for video files.

Now your camera can upload photos, as well as videos. Imaging making a funny video, and arriving home with all that content already published on Youtube!

Price: $79.95 (EyeFi 4GB Explore Video) or $99.95 (Share Video)
Where: store

Verizon MiFi

The new Verizon MiFi promises to make mobile broadband easier than ever. In the past, getting online with mobile broadband involved using a USB adapter or modem card.

The MyFi combines a wireless hotspot and mobile broadband adapter in one small battery powered device. When turned on, you can get online using your WiFi enabled laptop, netbook or PDA, without having to deal with complicated software.

Price: $99.95 (after a $50 mail in rebate, and with a 2 year contract, $59.95/month for service)

Pocket HD Camcorder

Still carrying a bulky tape camcorder? Dump it and invest in a new digital HD camcorder like the Creative VadoHD or the Flip UltraHD. At just over $200, these cameras make surprisingly high quality clips, and they are small enough to fit in your pocket. With no moving parts, battery life is often enough for a days worth of clips.

Once you get home, you simply pop out the built in USB plug, and copy all the clips onto your computer, ready to upload to your favorite video sharing site.

Price: from $199
Where: Flip by Pure Digital, Creative Vado HD, Kodak ZX1, ZI6

Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800

The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800 is, despite the long name, remarkably simple. This small Lithium-Ion battery pack can charge almost any portable device. The unit comes with a variety of charging tips for mobile phones, PDA’s and smartphones.

With a whopping 4000mAh capacity, this battery pack carries enough portable juice to recharge most gadgets at least twice. When connected to an iPod or Zune, you’ll get over 100 hours extra music playback time!

Price: $44.95
Where: Tekkeon reseller page

>>>> Go to part 2 of 10 gadgets to make your summer travel more enjoyable

Eye-Fi wireless memory card adds support for Youtube video uploads

To me, the best travel gadgets are those that continue to get better, the longer you use them. The Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card is such a device.

Eye-Fi was recently featured as one of our top 25 travel technology products of 2008 thanks to its ability to upload photos directly from your camera to a large number of photo hosting sites (or your home PC), any time you are in range of a wireless network. In 2008 Eye-Fi added options for wireless hotspot access (through the Wayport network), as well as photo Geotagging.

The newest feature for 2009 enables the card to directly upload video clips from your camera to Youtube.

No word yet on when the new feature will actually be available, but Eye-Fi VP of business development Ziv Gillat let us know that the card would even support uploads of HD video like that made with the new Nikon D90 (and the Kodak Zi6 we recently reviewed).

Being able to shoot some video on your next vacation, and have the clips appear automatically on Youtube without any interaction is a brilliant solution, and a fantastic addition to the card. Just remember to swap out the Eye-Fi card for a normal card if you plan to shoot some steamy video in the boudoir…

Daily deal – Eye-Fi Home wireless 2GB SD memory card for $60

My daily deal for today is another of my personal favorites when it comes to gadgets. The Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card fits in any digital camera that takes SD cards and instantly uploads any photos you take directly to your computer.

No more messing with cables or having to dock your camera after ever photo you take. As soon as your camera connects to the wireless network in your house, it immediately starts uploading all your photos.

I’ve had an Eye-Fi card since the day they were available, and it has completely changed the way I take my photos, even for simple things like creating an Ebay sale, I simply take the photo and 5 seconds later the photo is available on my desktop. I’ll post a full review of Eye-Fi in an upcoming review, but I did not want to withold the new prices of the Eye-Fi cards.

The Eye-Fi card is available in three different “flavors”; Home, Share and Explore.

The home card is used for taking photos and sending them to your home PC. The Share card can send photos to your home PC as well as a large number of photo sharing sites (like Smugmug, Flickr and others). And finally, the Explore card adds Wi-Fi hotspot access through Wayport for a year as well as basic “geotagging” of your photos.

The Eye-Fi Home card is currently on sale through J&R Electronics for just $59.99 (with $2.95 shipping). The other Eye-Fi cards can be found through

Eye-Fi user with a SmugMug account? Free geotagging and hotspot access!

This piece of news makes me giddy, as it involves 2 things I am pretty passionate about; the SmugMug photo sharing service, and my Eye-Fi wireless photo sharing memory card.

If you are like me, and use SmugMug for your photos, and an Eye-Fi card for uploading your pictures, then this piece of news is just for you – Eye-Fi will turn your regular card, into a card with the same features as their newest Explore card for free!

The Eye-Fi Explore card features free Wi-Fi hotspot access at any Wayport location for one year, as well as free geotagging of your photos using the Skyhook system. You can read more about what Geotagging is on the Eye-Fi site but in a nutshell, it involves adding some hidden information to your photos with the location the photo was taken. Once you return home, you can view your images online, and instantly see where you were when you took the photo.

To get these new features, you have to follow several simple steps:

  • Insert your Eye-Fi Card or Eye-Fi Share into the card reader.
  • Launch the Eye-Fi Manager and log into your account
  • Navigate to Settings
  • Click on Upload to Web
  • Select your SmugMug profile, and DELETE it (you will NOT lose any of your upload histories)
  • Click to Add another photo service
  • Notice how SmugMug is now at the top :-)
  • Select it, and enter your account credentials
  • Go back to Settings, and notice how now, you have Geotagging and Hotspots as new features on your card.
  • Navigate to Hotspots, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and activate it
  • Navigate to Geotagging, and activate it
  • If you’d like, navigate to Notifications, and 1 or more SMS’s or emails. This way, you’ll know when your Eye-Fi Card is uploading from open hotspots or Wayport hotspots (or at home)

That is all there is to it. Thanks to SmugMug and Eye-Fi for this free update!