Wireless Cameras Take Off

The Secure Digital Association has announced a standard for wireless communications from SD cards (pdf). The standard builds on the work done by Toshiba, which has been showing compliant cards at CES.

Toshiba’s Wireless LAN SD, called FlashAir, sells for around $65, and features a Class 6 speed rating and an 8GB capacity. Unlike the similar EyeFi SD card, which allows wireless data transfer from a camera to a wireless device (using a free app), the new SD Card standard includes two communications systems, denoted ‘W’ and ‘D.’

A ‘W’ card can communicate with other devices (such as tablets and televisions), in a peer-to-peer fashion, or it can upload to ‘cloud’ services. The ‘D’ section of the standard also allows connection to home networks. ‘W+D’ cards that allow both communication types will also be available.

The Canon HF R32 camcorder, introduced at CES this week, allows WiFi uploading to YouTube, to your iOS device and even live streaming to Qik.

The new WiFi functionality on the R32 and R30 will allow users to upload videos to the web, to a computer on the same network, and to certain DLNA-compliant devices. This will also let users push and manage content via an iPhone or iPad using an iOS app that will be available (for free) soon. Android functionality should be added in the future as well.

Other WiFi cameras at CES:

Wireless Cameras at CES
  • Samsung’s Wi-Fi enabled DualView DV300. You can send shots via e-mail directly from the camera or use the device’s Auto PC Backup function to wirelessly send images from the camera to a computer. It also integrates with SkyDrive, Microsoft’s 25GB of free online storage. It was announced last week.
  • Samsung announced more WiFi cameras today and a new camcorder that will offer Wi-Fi connectivity. The Samsung WB150F, ST200F, ST300F and WB850F are point and shoots. The “F” moniker denotes wireless connectivity. They cost between $200-$350. The Wi-Fi-enabled QF20 camcorder is priced at $350. The new wireless-connected imaging products will be branded as the “Samsung Smart” line, and they’ll all support direct uploads to sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
  • Samsung introduced a webcam with a customized version of Android to bring Skype video chat to legacy TV sets. It’s controlled by a QWERTY remote and will cost $199.
  • The Sony Bloggie Live pocket camcorder allows shooters to live-stream video to the Web while filming, and the camcorder is able to receive short messages through an online service as you’re shooting. The connectivity options are limited to Wi-Fi at this point, but Sony and Verizon have teamed up to offer a $50 credit for anyone who buys both a Bloggie Live camcorder and a Verizon 4G LTE Jetpack Mobile hotspot. Priced at $250, the Sony Bloggie will be available in January, right after CES.
  • 360 Degree Video Apps include Mondo Robot, GoPan, Kogeto Dot, XS2TheWorld and williapps.com
  • The Dropcam HD Wi-Fi Camera lets you monitor your home from your phone. The Wi-Fi camera comes with a mobile app, and uses live and recorded video so you can make sure all is well while you’re away. The Dropcam HD retails for $149.
  • Parrot’s flying, high-definition camera is iPhone controlled. The AR.Drone 2.0 is the new version of the company’s remote-controlled quadricopter. A new HD camera records 720p footage and a new sensor allows it to fly higher than ever before, with your Wi-Fi range probably the limiting factor.
Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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