PRESS RELEASE: Eye-Fi Unveils Automatic Geotagging And Hotspot Connectivity With Eye-Fi Explore
Partnerships with Skyhook Wireless and Wayport will Enable Users to Automatically Map Images and Upload Photos On the Go
BURLINGAME, Calif., May 12, 2008 — Today Eye-Fi, Inc. (www.eye.fi), makers of the world’s first wireless memory card for digital cameras, today announced the Eye-Fi Explore, a new card designed to make photo sharing richer, easier and more convenient. Unveiled at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, the Eye-Fi Explore allows users to automatically upload photos from more than 10,000 hotspots while away from home or from their home wireless network. It also automatically tags users’ photos with information about where the image was captured.
“The Eye-Fi Explore delivers the two enhancements most requested by our users,” said Jef Holove, CEO for Eye-Fi. “Our geotagging service automates what is today a compelling, though time-consuming and manual, experience. And, our hotspot access will allow travelers, bloggers, and anyone on the go to upload, share and save their pictures before they even get home.”
Like all Eye-Fi cards (see today’s release: Eye-Fi Unveils Family of Products), Eye-Fi Explore allows users to automatically send photos directly from their camera to their PC or Mac, and to one of 25 online photo sharing, printing, social networking, or blogging sites using their home wireless network. Eye-Fi partnered with Skyhook Wireless to provide geotagging capabilities and Wayport to enable hotspot connectivity for the Eye-Fi Explore.
How the Eye-Fi Explore Works
Through a partnership with Skyhook Wireless, the Eye-Fi Explore will allow users to map where their photos were captured with automatic geotagging. The card uses built-in wireless technology to locate nearby Wi-Fi access points when pictures are captured within the Skyhook coverage area. The Eye-Fi service uses this information to encode each photo with geographic locations, and the images arrive on the user’s computer and online sharing account automatically tagged.
“Geotagging makes it easier to manage and search for your photos on your computer, and it also makes them more fun and relevant to share on the Web. Tagging has exploded on sites like Picasa Web Albums and Flickr, where users can share with each other where a picture was taken,” said Ted Morgan, founder and CEO of Skyhook Wireless. “We’re thrilled to work with Eye-Fi to make it easier for users to map where an image was taken.”
In North America, Skyhook currently provides coverage of more than 70 percent of the population. In Europe, the top 50 metropolitan areas are covered, along with 70 percent of the population in Germany, France and the UK. The rest of Western Europe will be covered in mid-summer 2008. Coverage expansion in key Asian markets, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other countries is currently underway.
“Geotagging is fast becoming popular with online photo enthusiasts because it gives more meaning to photos and it allows photographers to better organize their images,” said Mark Geller, Business Product Manager of Google’s Picasa Web Albums. “Eye-Fi’s efforts to make geotagging automatic will help make it a fundamental element of digital photography for everyday users.”
The Eye-Fi Explore wireless memory card will also give users the freedom to upload photos while away from home at one of Wayport’s 10,000+ hotspot locations. By simply turning on the camera in a Wayport location, the card will automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network and begin uploading photos to the Web and the user’s PC or Mac.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Eye-Fi to connect digital cameras to Wayport’s network, creating another way for people to stay connected while they’re away from home,” Dan Lowden, vice president of marketing and business development for Wayport. “People at a quick-service restaurant or in their hotel room will be able to share photos while their memories are still fresh.”
The photographer does not need to have a Wayport account or a laptop with them to upload pictures for free from their digital camera. Eye-Fi will notify users via SMS or e-mail messages regarding the progress of the upload session.
Wayport enables public and private applications across the U.S. in major hotels, McDonald’s restaurants, Hertz airport locations, and other top retail brands.
Eye-Fi Explore Availability
The 2GB Eye-Fi Explore includes unlimited Web uploads, unlimited geotagging and one year of hotspot access at Wayport locations. The Eye-Fi Explore (MSRP $129.00) will be available at major online retailers beginning June 6, 2008.
Eye-Fi offers two additional wireless memory cards for digital cameras to meet users’ varying digital imaging needs. (See release entitled: Eye-Fi Introduces New Product Line-Up.) For more information, please visit www.eye.fi.
About Eye-Fi, Inc.
Founded in 2005, the company is dedicated to building products and services that help consumers navigate, nurture and share their visual memories. Eye-Fi’s patent-pending technology works with Wi-Fi networks to automatically send photos from a digital camera to online, in-home and retail destinations. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., the company’s investors include Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures. More information is available at www.eye.fi.
About Skyhook Wireless
Founded in 2003, Skyhook Wireless has pioneered the development of the first-ever metro-area positioning system that leverages Wi-Fi rather than satellites or cell towers to deliver precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services. The Skyhook Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas. WPS serves over 70% of the US & Canadian populations and is expanding internationally. Skyhook Wireless is headquartered in Boston, MA, and is privately held. Investors include RRE Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Intel Capital and Common Angels. For more information visit www.skyhookwireless.com, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-314-9802.
About Wayport, Inc.
Founded in 1996 and based in Irving, Texas, Wayport helps some of the world’s top brands enhance their customers’ experience. Wayport supports innovative organizations by enabling breakthrough network applications, serving more than 12,000 locations across 35 countries. Wayport serves notable brands in a variety of vertical markets, including AT&T customers through a managed service agreement. Wayport helps clients create new business capabilities and improve operational efficiencies at premier venues including major hotels, hospitals, McDonald’s and Hertz locations, and other retail brands worldwide. To learn more about Wayport, please visit www.wayport.net or to see locations worldwide, visit www.wayport.net/locations.
(First posted on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 18:58 EDT)