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Friday, January 09, 2009, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Eye-Fi adds WiFi, geotagging to any camera

Apple gave a lot of airtime this week to the new geotagging features in iPhoto 09, which allows users to organize and search photos based on the GPS data assigned to them. Eye-Fi's SD memory cards will enable any camera to tag photos with a location, making the cards a great camera upgrade for iLife 09 users.

While many modern smartphones can tag their photos with GPS coordinates (including the iPhone and iPod touch), mobile cameras often leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality. To take decent pictures, most users rely on dedicated point and shoot cameras.

Adding GPS features to a camera just for geotagging the photos it takes isn't very practical, but a Mountain View-based company has packed WiFi features into an SD memory card, enabling the chip to perform an iPod touch-style WiFi location lookup using wireless base station data from Skyhook Wireless.

In addition to geotagging photos taken by any camera using the cards, the Eye-Fi card can also wirelessly upload the photos to iPhoto, as well as directly to a wide variety of online services, including Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Evernote, and MobileMe.

The 2GB cards start at $79.99 for a basic WiFi enabled "Home" card without geotagging, $99 for a "Share" version with online upload features, and $129.99 for an "Explore" card with both the geotagging features and WiFi syncing to online services. The Explore version includes a year subscription to Wayport WiFi network access, which usually costs $14.95.

Eye-Fi