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Data Storage Input Devices Wireless Networking Hardware

Toshiba Adds Two-Way Wi-Fi To SD Card 77

Posted by timothy
from the good-for-the-family-reunion dept.
judgecorp writes "Toshiba has announced an SD card with Wi-Fi. This is an advance on previous products such as the Eye-Fi Pro X2, as it allows two-way transfers over Wi-Fi. This will be a very convenient feature. It has been labelled a security worry — but most of us already have cameras with wireless connections ... called phones."
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Toshiba Adds Two-Way Wi-Fi To SD Card

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2011 @06:54AM (#37295380)

    We may all already have phones - but this would be invaluable for someone who takes a professional-quality image or video of say, law enforcement. Any data recorded stands a better chance of being immediately put out of reach from your average plod

    "You want me to erase all the evidence I just recorded of you officer? Of course."

    • by sosume (680416) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @07:03AM (#37295400) Journal

      So what's new about this? This was available 10 years ago: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/tips/sandisk_SD_wifi.htm [mobiletechreview.com]
      Or are they applying for a patent?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        So what's new about this? This was available 10 years ago

        What's new is that Toshiba sent out a press release, so all media outlets must comply with the requisite awe and wonder.

        That's how this works.

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @09:22AM (#37295968) Journal
          Ah, no, this is not just normal WiFi, this is two-way WiFi. With old one-way WiFi, you had to send a packet, then eject the card, turn it around, and insert it the other way around to receive the reply. With this new two-way wireless magic your card can both send and receive! It's exciting and new!
          • Ah, no, this is not just normal WiFi, this is two-way WiFi. With old one-way WiFi, you had to send a packet, then eject the card, turn it around, and insert it the other way around to receive the reply. With this new two-way wireless magic your card can both send and receive! It's exciting and new!

            LOL!

            The next one in the making (and I didn't tell you this; SHHHHH!) introduces Valid Strict Capability and a subset of Comprehensive Logistical Programming that will maximize security, and efficiently assure upgradeable firmware functionality! It will increase market share by over 35%.

            No, I didn't use BuzzWord Generator (http://www.outofservice.com/buzzword/); I swear! /humor

          • by formfeed (703859)

            With old one-way WiFi, you had to send a packet, then eject the card, turn it around, and insert it the other way around to receive the reply.

            Now before anyone tries this at home: You forgot to mention that this won't work unless you punch out a hole on the side of the sd card to change it from r/o to rw!

        • So what's new about this? This was available 10 years ago

          What's new is that Toshiba sent out a press release, so all media outlets must comply with the requisite awe and wonder.

          That's how this works.

          Heh.. Yeah.. You're right, IMHO. Old news is often the best profit-driving news.

          Someone go out there and find that this isn't the case. C'mon. I challenge you! :)

      • by errandum (2014454) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @08:32AM (#37295680)

        This appears to be a real sd card, not just some gadget that uses the SD card slot.

        That it could be used for this, I guess it's not surprise to anyone, that you could incorporate it in a real size SD card, could be news.

        • that you could incorporate it in a real size SD card, could be news.

          Nope, still not a surprise, since over 200,000,000 photos have already been uploaded through Eye-Fi cards: http://www.eye.fi/ [www.eye.fi]

        • by sam0737 (648914)

          Eye-Fi is a real SD card, and appears to be a storage SD card to the camera. Instead of Wifi card using SD as interface.

          Consider this is a USB Flash drive - but it can do two-way sync to the Wifi (Wifi configured separated, not with convention tools, and you cannot get network connection with that Wifi either). And this is not USB Wifi stick. Now s/USB/SD/g and you see the different.

      • While that may have been out 10 years ago, it will not fit in typical camera SD card slots because it is too long, and therefore is unusable for cameras where the card slot is enclosed. In addition, this has storage capabilities as well, as opposed to simply being a SD form factor for a wifi adapter.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          the storage capability matters because you can't upload sdio drivers to your camera.. that's the only reason, really, miniaturising them wouldn't have been the problem, but doing the storage link needs sw and engineering, and something at the other end. still, how does one configure it?

          (and there's that direct upload wifi sd card that has been out for a while, so two way probably means you could stick this in your smartphone and upload stuff back too, and that's why this is different from the sdio wifi card

          • by hedwards (940851)

            That's one of the reasons why I hate SD cards and most of the other cards. CF cards are a bit larger, but it's nice to know that pretty much any device with a CF slot will take a CF card, no matter how new. I think the only compatibility questions are for CF type 2, because they're a bit thicker and for Microdrives.

            But, even my 11 year old Canon s10 is limited only by the filesystem that Canon chose to use, it will take a modern CF card because the card itself has the necessary controller embedded.

      • BACK THEN:
        What Sandisk did 10 years ago was a network card running over a SPI bus. (It's just like you classic network card, but over an SDIO slots' bus instead of PCIe or USB)
        That means that, using correct drivers, a PalmOS or a WindowsCE PDA could use the card to access WiFi network. (At a time where most built-in options were IrDA and maybe bluetooth for the top-level PDAs).
        I did use similar card to get WiFi access on my Plam Tungsten T3 and Tapwave Zodiac.
        They are similar to the CF Wifi cards for PDA (

    • In that case, I don't think they'd "ask" or "want" you to erase anything. Best case scenario, it's taken away from you. Worst case scenario, you never see it again. (bonus points for getting physically assaulted)

    • It's still nothing more than a product release announcement, as opposed to "OMG NEW TECH," since this very product has been available from others for some time now, and is in (more or less) wide use already: http://www.eye.fi/ [www.eye.fi]

  • How would this work?

    SD cards are just block storage. Surely it wouldn't modify the underlying filesystem while being connected to a host? Wouldn't that potentially corrupt the filesystem?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital#SDIO

      • This isn't a SDIO card but rather from the host device appears as a standard block storage card. Presumably finding a way of modifying the file-system without causing corruption is what qualifies this as news.
        The easy way way would have been to have placeholder files that were always visible to the host device. Which when read where blank, until new files where actually received.
        I expect they have gone an extra step and found a way of forcing the host to reload the FAT (so the files get relevant filenames),

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I have had a SD wifi card for years. It was for a PDA that i had at the time that didn't come with it nativity. I don't see the big deal here, but don't doubt the have made one, again.

  • It has been labelled a security worry â" but most of us already have cameras with wireless connections ... called phones

    Please, even the best cellphone camera is a toy compared to what a pro or semi pro would be using. Most cell phone camera's are pretty much a point and shoot whereas I'd be using a digital slr with a wide range of lenses. I'm not putting down cell phone camera's. I'm just saying that comparing (example) my Iphone 4 camera to a digital SLR is like apples to oranges.

  • but most of us already have cameras with wireless connections ... called phones.

    Not everybody wants to have a separate $60 per month data or data+voice plan for every separate camera that the family owns.

    • by sosume (680416)

      And WiFi helps this how? It's not like there's an open WiFi available at the average photo scenery.

      • No, but it make it much faster and simpler to download the photos to your laptop. Or possibly even to upload them to your server via McDonald's or Starbucks (free wifi for the win).
      • by hedwards (940851)

        These devices are primarily for studio work. Previously the work would be done tethered to a computer, but now they can do it wirelessly using a WiFi device. It's nice in that it makes it a bit easier to move around in the studio, but this technology is unlikely to be of much value outside of a studio environment.

      • by tepples (727027)
        Shoot first, upload later.
      • Tethered cell phones/pocket wifi can usually remedy that problem.
  • Wow! 2 way WiFi you mean it sends as well as receives?

    • There have been wireless sd cards for a while, but they were mostly one-way bluetooth. Believe it or not, this actually IS an improvement.
  • by PyroMosh (287149) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @07:44AM (#37295526) Homepage

    The new Toshiba FlashAir card can transmit photos and videos to the back-end system, but the really clever bit is that it can also receive data (photos, videos etc) as well.

    This means that two people, both equipped with FlashAir-equipped cameras, can transmit photos or other data between their respective devices, in a peer to peer manner.

    No, what it means is that you can have a scheme something like:

    1. Pair Card with external device
    2. Take picture
    3. Picture is saved to 8 GB of SD memory
    4. If pairing is still intact, upload image to paired device
    5. Wait for response from paired device that image is saved successfully
    6. Once response is received, delete image from 8 GB SD memory space.

    What this means is that a photographer can shoot until their battery runs out while a nearby notebook or WiFi enabled SAN device records the images. Instead of being limited to 32 GB, you can happily fill a terabyte drive or more.

    Or if you're concerned about the data's safety locally (journalist working in a dangerous area, someone taking pictures of authorities who might take the camera away) you can even set the device that's receiving the images to upload into a remote FTP or some kind of cloud based service.

    Or am I missing something?

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or if you're concerned about the data's safety locally (journalist working in a dangerous area, someone taking pictures of authorities who might take the camera away) you can even set the device that's receiving the images to upload into a remote FTP or some kind of cloud based service.

      That is how my fairly inexpensive Nikon point and shoot works now, it sends pictures to a ftp/http site for later retrieval. Rather annoying that its tied to THEIR service however as i would rather it just hook to my server at home.

    • by thue (121682)

      It would probably be easier to just build the wireless networking into the camera, than to build it into each SD card. That way you also don't risk having the antenna buried inside the camera along with the SD card.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Some cameras already do this, but this way they can get a piece of the camera market that won't buy a whole other phone to get Wi-Fi.

        I just paid $50 for a used 10 MP Fuji with a 2GB card at a flea market, basically what I'd have paid on eBay but without having to pay for shipping or the memory card. Should have paid forty but anyway. I'm not in the market for an expensive new camera for Wi-Fi, but if I could get one of these on sale or something I might think about it :)

  • I see that they put "pro" in the name (Eye-Fi Pro X2).... there is nothing "professional" about it. Both Canon and Nikons top range (professional) cameras use only Compact Flash. This card should be called the "Eye-Fi Semi-Pro/Noob X2"
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      no one even makes compact flash anymore, besides its just an ide interface not magic

  • I think the higher security worry should be that this could be used to silently plug a pre-configured Wifi device on a PC. What if you make it discreet, using some sort of rootkit and use a program to extract data from the device - and the networks it has access to?

    People already use this today, see Stuxnet. This would allow for an extra communication device and could come handy. You'd avoid wired networks security measures, and short of scambling wireless frequencies or scanning for odd signals, which not

  • I just reached into my desk drawer and pulled out my SD card with built-in 2 way WiFi that I bought years ago. How is this new?
  • SDIO Wi-fi cards have been around for ages; I remember trying to find one for my Palm Treo 650 to get it online and not being able to afford it.

    one [amazon.com]
    two [amazon.com]
  • The newstaper didn't bother with local storage; it was all being uploaded live all the time. As long as you have connectivity, of course.

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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