Toshiba TransferJet: Like NFC but way, way faster to get your media off your camera
posted Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 8:01 AM EDT
Lots and lots of new cameras nowadays offer some form of wireless connectivity, be it in full-on Wi-Fi, NFC or Bluetooth Low Energy, or all of the above. Each wireless protocol has its pros and cons; some are clunky to setup, others have slow transfer rates, etc. But what do you do if your camera doesn't have any connectivity built-in? There are very of options for "add-on" connectivity such as Eye-Fi and FlashAir cards, but one of the more interesting protocols is TransferJet.
Demoed in Toshiba's booth at CP+, their TransferJet SD cards function similarly to NFC-based SD cards or devices in that it's a close-proximity wireless transfer system. Yet the major benefit for TransferJet is the sheer transfer rate offered, at up to 560Mbps for its theoretical maximum -- much faster than NFC transfers.
Toshiba themselves offer a trio of souped-up wireless SD card models, including FlashAir that functions similar to Eye-Fi and runs over 802.11 Wi-Fi or an NFC-based SD card, but that only lets you view thumbnails from your images or check camera settings -- you can't transfer full-resolution images with NFC cards. This is where TransferJet SD cards come in. This protocol's massive transfer speed lets you beam full-res images (and multiples of them) or high-definition video over to a device in a matter of seconds.
Paired with the SD card, the system connects via a small USB adapter that plugs into your computer, although Toshiba says there is the ability for computer makers to build-in TransferJet compatible hardware, eliminating the need for the adapter. For smart devices, they also make compatible TransferJet adapters for Lightning and micro-USB-based devices, so both iOS and Android are supported (and both OSes have a free companion app). Then, when you bring the devices together, the connection is initiated, the TransferJet application opens and media is copied from the camera to the other device.
Toshiba showed off a couple of real-world examples, including the typical DSLR scenario where you fire off a burst of shots, then bring the camera down to tap it again the TransferJet USB adapter to initiate a nearly instant transfer and display of your recent burst shots. However, one rather interesting example involved video and baseball. In this scenario, this small JVC camcorder with high-frame-rate slow-mo capabilities was used by baseball coaches to instruct their players. The high-speed data rate of the TransferJet card plus the slow-motion video from the camera allows the coach to instantly shoot high-speed footage of the players, then transfer the videos very quickly over to a tablet to review with the players. It was the baseball team's personal instant replay setup!
While TransferJet protocol is far from brand new, it was rather unique and seemed to work impressively well in the demos we observed, making for an interesting ability to add wireless connectivity to older cameras, especially if getting full-res images and video off your camera quickly is important to you. So far, though, the Toshiba TransferJet system, which currently consists of a 16GB Class 10 SD card and various adapters, doesn't have much of a foothold in the US market, as not many retailers here are carrying the products. However, we have noticed the various adapters are available on Amazon US, though no sign of the actual 16GB SD card, so you're half-way there.
For more information about Toshiba TransferJet, please click here.