Eye-Fi Direct Mode shuttles pics straight from camera to phone/tablet

Eye-Fi knows that when it comes to gratification, digital photographers want it instant. Hence the latest addition to the Eye-Fi X2 range of WiFi-enabled memory cards, Eye-Fi Direct Mode, a way to funnel photos straight from your camera to a nearby tablet or smartphone rather than send it via Eye-Fi's servers.

The update will use an Eye-Fi app on the device itself, though the company hasn't confirmed which platforms it will be releasing software for. We're guessing iOS – for the iPhone and iPad – as well as Android would be sensible options for the first wave of app releases.

Eye-Fi is billing Direct Mode as a way to get instant access to photos – for sharing on online galleries or via social networks like Facebook and Twitter – without having to rely on the usually lower-quality cameras fitted to smartphones. The functionality will be pushed out as a free update to Eye-Fi X2 cards later this year.

Press Release:

Great Images and Instant Gratification with Eye-Fi's Direct Mode – THE Mobile Solution

New Card Technology and Eye-Fi App Enable Consumers to Get the Best of their Digital Cameras and Mobile Devices; Further Expands Eye-Fi's Connected Ecosystem

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., January 4, 2011 — Eye-Fi Inc. (www.eye.fi), makers of the world's first wireless memory card, today announced Direct Mode at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Leveraging a combination of new technology in Eye-Fi cards and new Eye-Fi mobile apps, Direct Mode enables consumers to bring together the imaging quality of a digital camera and the connectivity of a smartphone or tablet in an unprecedented way. This innovative solution wirelessly connects the camera to the mobile device to provide a seamless experience between the moment a memory is captured and when consumers want to browse, edit, save and share their memories.

"For anyone who has ever had to choose between taking great images with their digital camera and the instant gratification of sharing with a smartphone, Direct Mode is the answer," said Jef Holove, CEO of Eye-Fi. "New technology in the card combined with a free Eye-Fi app on a mobile device means consumers no longer have to compromise between rich, lifelike memories and saving or sharing those memories from anywhere."

With Direct Mode, photos taken with your digital camera can immediately be sent to your smartphone or tablet. They can be viewed, used with myriad apps on the device, or uploaded and shared.

In addition, photos and videos can automatically and wirelessly be backed up and organized in the consumer's private Eye-Fi View account. From there, they are accessible for viewing and sharing from any Internet connected device – regardless of which camera they were taken with.

"We have a diversity of devices we use for different purposes," continued Holove. "Digital cameras are just plain better at taking photos and videos, especially when lighting, action, or zoom distance affect the shot. But, there's no doubt that the apps, touch interface and always-connected nature of mobile devices are compelling. With this new technology, we are bridging the gap between the camera and mobile, bringing the best of all the devices that we own to the capture and sharing of memories."

Eye-Fi also extends the browsing and sharing experience by providing a seamless connected imaging experience through its own ecosystem of partners – from leading digital camera makers like Canon, Nikon and Sony to 45 popular photo sharing sites like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. The result is millions of photos and videos being effortlessly shared from cameras each month.

Direct Mode will be available as a free upgrade to all Eye-Fi X2 cards later in 2011.

To see more, Eye-Fi will be demonstrating this new capability at CES at booth #3615 in the "Living in Digital Times" section of the North Hall.

For more information, visit www.eye.fi.