With all the gadgets out there these days, I’m not easily impressed.

However, the Eye-Fi Explorer Card was something new (and WAY cool) for me.  Eye-Fi makes secure digital (SD) memory cards for your camera that upload your photos automatically to your computer, Eye-Fi’s website and your choice of photo sharing websites (Flickr, Shutterfly, Mac’s Me, KodakGallery, Snapfish, PhotoBucket and many others) without ever taking the card out of the camera or hooking the camera up to a computer.

Each memory card has Wi-Fi built into it.  After a short set up process on my laptop with the supplied USB hub, I was connected via my home wireless network and started taking pictures.

As I snapped away, the photos were automatically uploaded to Shutterfly and to iPhoto on my Mac.  This was all happening without having to stop taking pictures.  There are several types of Eye-Fi secure digital cards, but I tested the Explore card which includes one year of free Hotspot access on any Wayport hotspot throughout the country and free Geotagging which is truly what sets it apart.

Each digital image you take is labeled with its geographic location (if available in the Skyhook Wireless coverage area).  Seeing my images on Eye-Fi’s website with satellite images triangulating the location the picture was taken was really cool.

This worked really well in Nashville, but if the area you’re in doesn’t have coverage then the photo just isn’t tagged with this information.  You can also turn if off if the feature is too “Big Brotherish” for you.

The Eye-Fi card is available at many online retailers and there are several models with the Eye-Fi Explore being the most comprehensive.  They range in price from $79.99 to $129.99 with many deals to be found online.

Since memory is so cheap now, this is a high price to pay but the convenience and time you save make it a worthwhile purchase.  No more spending hours uploading those holiday pictures to your computer and then to websites to share with your family.  More information can be found at www.eye.fi.  Check out the website to make sure your camera is compatible and your photo sharing website is included.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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