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CradlePoint PHS300 & EyeFi -- Photos to Web via EVDO & WiFi

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Friday, 07 December 2007

First, let's set the scene for how you've been getting digital photos onto your favorite website, the old school way. Its a special day... maybe a birthday or a wedding... maybe its a press event or the big game even. In any case, you plan on taking hundreds of digital pictures and then getting them online for friends, family, coworkers or employers to see, just as quickly as humanly possible.

After happily squeezing off all the shots you need, you pack up all your gear and head for home, or the hotel, or the nearest wifi hotspot you can find. Once settled in, you take your flash memory cards out of your camera, or hook up the camera to your laptop, and start the process of transfering the photos into your laptop. Tick tock. Tick tock. After thats done, you still have to get the pictures onto flickr or picasa or whatever photo album site, so that others can see the fruits of your labor. From start to finish, this process of publishing photos on the web can be agonizing and will never go as fast as you want it to, even though you FEEL like you're moving at a hundred miles an hour. Sound familiar?

Now, lets talk about some high tech toys that are going to make your life much easier! The CradlePoint PHS300 Portable HotSpot EVDO Router and the EyeFi SD card are two hot technologies that combine to provide you the ability to do something you've never been able to do before, and always wished you could!

CradlePoint PHS300 and EyeFi SD Card -- 3gstore.com
The EyeFi is a special SD card with built-in WiFi capabilities, that allows you to send photos from your camera to a WiFi network and ultimately to one of several popular photo album sites -- while you are taking the photos!

I know what you're thinking. That's all well and good, but there aren't any public hotspots where I am taking pictures. Right. That's where the CradlePoint PHS300 plays its role -- Portable Hot Spot... get it? The PHS300 EVDO Router is not only portable, but it has a rechargeable lithium ion battery that allows it to maintain an EVDO connection for about two hours. Spare batteries are easily swapped into place for bigger projects, and the PHS300 will re-establish a network connection in under 30 seconds, so it won't bog you down.

The EyeFi SD card ships with software (located right on the card) that allows you to set up your card to use the PHS300 to send photos where you want. Even more amazing is that once the settings are done, you don't even need your computer with you in order to upload the photos. All you need is your camera with the EyeFi card in it, and your PHS300 with its EVDO USB modem in it!

The screenshot below shows how you would select the wireless network your card will send its photos through.

Worried about security? Don't be. The EyeFi card can even store your networks WAP password so that connection between the card and the PHS300 is encrypted. Check out the next screenshot.

Before your EyeFi card will be able to use your PHS300 as a wireless access point, you must use web admin and turn off the setting for "Require User Login" which is on by default on all CradlePoint routers.

Another very important issue to note: Right now, your EyeFi card might not work with Sprint's EVDO network. Its a known issue and one that EyeFi is likely to address in the future. My testing was all done using a USB727 on Verizon's Rev-A network in the Dallas, TX area.

Once you've associated your EyeFi card with your PHS300, put the card into your camera, and go take photos! Here's a photo of the EyeFi card and the CompactFlash adapter needed for my Canon G6 camera.

Just as soon as you start taking photos with the EyeFi card in your camera, it will look for your PHS300 and start uploading photos to the destinations you've set up beforehand. Here's a look at my settings, showing that photos will get sent to my picasa albums site.

While I've mentioned that you do not need your laptop in order to have photos upload from camera to PHS300, if you DID have your laptop running, you could see progress as each photo were uploaded.

Its really hard to summarize how life changing this combination of new technologies is going to be for so many people. Photographers of course, but event planners too. Think about passing out a bunch of EyeFi enabled cameras at a wedding or anniversary or reunion or whatever. Or having all the photos from the team you sent to cover Steve Jobs at MacWorld, showing up on site nearly as fast as they were taken. The possibilities are endless and folks are going to be reinventing the way that they get photos onto the web, for some time to come... thanks to the amazing combination of the PHS300 and the EyeFi SD card.

The EyeFi SD card is shipping now for just $99 for a 2GD card. You order it online at www.eye.fi

The CradlePoint PHS300 is $179.99 and initially available only from the EVDO Experts at 3GStore.com. First shipments of the PHS300 are expected to go out on December 20th, so if you want it by Christmas you better order with overnight delivery!

At launch, the PHS300 will work with many devices on both the Sprint and Verizon EVDO networks like the USB727, U727 and the Franklin CDU680. For a list of compatible devices and much more about the PHS300, read our full review of the PHS300.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 March 2008 )
 
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