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Toshiba announces its first "Flash Air' WiFi SDHC card

By dpreview staff on Sep 2, 2011 at 18:51 GMT

Toshiba has announced a WiFi SDHC card that can both transmit and receive data. It's the first card to fully comply with the SD standard, the company says. It also claims lower power consumption than 'other cards with similar functions,' by which you have to assume it means Eye-Fi. The card will be able to share data with compatible cameras, smartphones and WiFi-enabled computers. All cameras with SD slots will be able to broadcast data from the card, and Toshiba says a number of camera makers are considering launching compatible products that will allow data to be received, too.

The announcement follows the company's work with Trek 2000 to develop a standard for such cards.

Jump to:

Press Release:

Toshiba to Launch "FlashAir™", the World's First SDHC Memory Card with Embedded Wireless LAN Communications

TOKYO–Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that it will launch the world's first[1] SDHC memory card with embedded wireless LAN functionality to meet the SD Memory Card Standard. The new card, "FlashAir™", has an 8GB capacity and supports both peer-to-peer transfers and uploads to and downloads from servers. Samples will be available from November 2011 and sales will start in February 2012.

FlashAir will be featured at IFA 2011, in Berlin, Germany from September 2.

At a time when digital cameras have achieved immense popularity, users want a quick and easy way to share photographs with friends and to transfer them to and from online storage services and social networks. Toshiba provides the solution with FlashAir, the world's first SDHC memory card with embedded wireless LAN functionality that is fully compliant with the SD Memory Card Standard.

FlashAir's embedded wireless communication function allows users to upload and download photographs to and from a server and to exchange photographs and other data with other devices, including digital cameras[2] that are FlashAir compliant and, smartphones and PCs that support wireless LAN. All transfers are done wirelessly, without any need for a cable connection. Key features of the new card include the ability to receive as well as transmit and lower power consumption than other cards with similar functions.

Even in digital cameras not compliant with FlashAir, the new card can share digital images with smartphones and PCs that support wireless LAN.

Toshiba will secure certification of FlashAir for wireless communication in Japan, North America and Europe.

Toshiba will reinforce and extend its leadership of memory business by further enhancing its SD memory card line-up. 

Notes:

  • [1] As of September 1, 2011. Source: Toshiba Corporation.
  • [2] A number of camera makers are now considering launching compliant products.

Key features

Product name: THNSW008GAA-A
Capacity: 8GB
Price (tax included): Open
Start of sample shipping: November 2011
Start of sale: February 2012

Note:  The above product name is for the Japanese market.

Specifications

Standard: SD Memory Card Standard
Wireless LAN Standard: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Wireless LAN security: WEP, TKIP, AES (WPA, WPA2)
Card capacity: 8GB
Speed class: Speed Class 6
Applicable format: JPEG, RAW, MPEG, etc
Power Supply Voltage: 2.7-3.6V
Operating Environment: Temperature: -25°C to 85°C
Relative humidity: 95% at 25°C (no condensation)
External dimensions: 32(L)×24(W)×2.1(T)(mm)
Weight: Approx. 2g

Note:  The above specifications are as of September 1, 2011.

*The card can be used in devices that comply with the SDHC Memory Card Standard.
*"FlashAir™" is a trademark of Toshiba Corporation.
*The SDHC logo is a trademark of SD-3C. LLC.

Comments

Total comments: 40
Don CHap
By Don CHap (Sep 8, 2011)

I could use a card like this to get images from a DSLR to a Windows Mobile device. I have tried requesting this from EyeFi but they send me to a third party provider that wants $500 license per unit! Crazy!

Hopefully the Toshiba can do adhoc direct to a Windows Mobile PDA and I can throw away all my EyeFi cards! I also HATE the fact that I need an account on EyeFi to do the setup of the cards. At least the initial setup.

0 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (Sep 7, 2011)

When is someone going to put Bluetooth plus some smarts in an SD card so it can talk to my GPS unit and geotag my images? BT is even less power-hungry than WiFi. That's something I could get excited about.

0 upvotes
MarshallG
By MarshallG (Sep 6, 2011)

In one or two years, even entry-level DSLR's will have WiFi built-in or as slide-in accessories, and we will be able to use them to send photos to our SmartPhones and tablets for uploading or adding additional notes, or for GPS tagging.

I'm not excited about the current "SLR as a video camera" craze, but DSLR's should be able to work with our phones to offer the same photo capabilities that the phones provide, just with a much better quality image. I want that very much.

1 upvote
gonzalu
By gonzalu (Sep 4, 2011)

Why no CF Wi-Fi cards like these?

0 upvotes
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul

Where the world selling Toshiba world fastest card?

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1009/10090305toshibauhsisdhc.asp

I'm waiting to longgggggg. :P

0 upvotes
Marcel Mutter
By Marcel Mutter (Sep 5, 2011)

Buy Panasonic.

Good starting point for SD cards: http://panasonic.net/avc/sdcard/

b.t.w. UHS-II is already on the way.

0 upvotes
Marcel Mutter
By Marcel Mutter (Sep 4, 2011)

You only need the the Eye-Fi service to setup the card and after that you don't have use the programs of Eye-Fi any more until you network setup infrastructure changes.

For the iPad, Android there are enough good if not better programs available for the PC the Eye-Fi Helper is still the best. I don't own a MAC so can't judge about that.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Sep 4, 2011)

Being new to this technology, can I do the following by using this product or any products currently out there?...
Shoot and have the images automatically and wirelessly transfered and saved to a MacBook Pro or Android Smart Phone?
Thanks in advanced.

0 upvotes
GHL_Vienna
By GHL_Vienna (Sep 4, 2011)

Btw: I totally agree with someone, who complains here that he dislikes that he is virtually forced to register with the Eye-Fi server in order to use the app although he did not intend to use Eye-Fi's server-based services.
I am aware of the use of customer data (for market research e.g., I do not accuse everybody of using them for evil purposes).
But, Eye-Fi, you could have done that far smarter than you do it currently!
It is really not very friendly "welcoming" a new customer with a starting screen prompting him to register or otherwise not being able to use the product at all! (Would have influenced my buying decision if I had known in advance!)
In turn, you could have connected the unlocking of ADDITIONAL or ADVANCED features to a registration. What about this?

0 upvotes
GHL_Vienna
By GHL_Vienna (Sep 4, 2011)

So, as Eye-Fi is reading and responding here, which is really fine (hard for me to imagine that an industry giant like Toshiba will be posting here, though they very closely monitor the market) please consider my recommendations:
1. You could easily quadruple sales and convince customers of the benefits of your Eye-Fi products (remember one of the primary principles in product marketing, in case you enjoyed some commercial education, which is "the reason to believe") if you identify the most demanded use cases. Even better: find some unique use cases, giving you a USP (some call that "killer app").
There'd be such a killer app: seamless interworking between the Eye-Fi and Seagate's GoFlex Satellite Wireless harddisk! Using an Android phone as "endless memory" is cool, but can you think of the additional use cases materializing that way in press photography? Ally with Seagate, they are not hostile as they are no SD card manufacturer and would also be a synergy for them.

0 upvotes
Snaaks
By Snaaks (Sep 3, 2011)

I wish someone could make a CF-wireless card.

1 upvote
GHL_Vienna
By GHL_Vienna (Sep 4, 2011)

Me too, but there is a technical limitation: CFs nowadays are used with DSLRs only. DSLR's bodies are bulky on the one hand and their bezels mostly are of metal. Both quite hostile conditions for letting pass WLAN signals. Solution could be to define an extra pin on the edge of the card or kind of metallized rail that connects to a recepticle or counter-rail in the DSLR's slot rendered "compatible" with WLAN-enabled cards that way. Idea would be, quite as with the embedded wireless devices in laptop PCs, fixing a wire into that recepticle in the cam, acting as an antenna, efficiently emmitting the WLAN signal. In laptop PCs such wire antennas lead from the base of the PC to the display frame and hence the range of embedded WLAN devices outperforms that of USB-WLAN-sticks just attached to the side of a PC. I am aware that this would require at least a "proprietary" standard meaning we wouldn't see such cards in the market very soon. @Eye-Fi: What do you think?

0 upvotes
rhpetersen
By rhpetersen (Sep 4, 2011)

Has anybody used these in the secondary (SD) slot in a camera such as the D300s to see if they can transmit their way out of the metal sub-frame?

0 upvotes
GHL_Vienna
By GHL_Vienna (Sep 4, 2011)

@rhpetersen: I am not on Nikon, but I will test in in the coming days on a Canon EOS 7D and let you know then. No "reliable" tests, but just testing about the practical experience like signal strengh, range of the signal and, ya, if that works out at all! I have a CF adapter but the 7D is not on Eye-Fi's compatibility list and as far as I understood (but dont regard this as proved information) there must be kind of basic camera support, like opening a crude menu on the cam once the card is recognized.Actually I didn't buy it for the 7D out of reasons I already explained, but for a Canon Powershot G12 compact cam I carry with me very often as a good DSLR is far too heavy for that. Couldn't even fully test it with that as the Eye-Fi arrived via mail only 1hr before going on vacation.At least I can confirm that it properly shows up as an additional cam menu (after all the G12 is marked compatible by Eye-Fi).As also said, interworking with the Seagate Goflex Wireless would boost its value.

0 upvotes
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul

@rhpetersen: Hi, I have tested D300s with Eye-fi Connect X2 is very fast and reliable however eye-fi product look poor for me then I sold it and wait for a newer version and hope it looking like a great product like Sandisk Extreme.

This is my web site with a speed test. (D300s)
http://www.4togadget.com/?p=604

0 upvotes
Per Zangenberg
By Per Zangenberg (Sep 6, 2011)

Yes, but there must be a technical limitation or I am sure Eye-fi would have made one?!? This product mainly appeals to photographers and most of those use cameras with CF slots, so it IS strange that there is no option for that.

1 upvote
Boomz
By Boomz (Sep 3, 2011)

Still hoping/waiting for a CF version.

0 upvotes
kirk1978
By kirk1978 (Sep 3, 2011)

I can see Eye-Fi Support are posting here

Well.. Looks like Competition is here
personally I am a user of the Eye-Fi card (got 4 different X2 cards in total in the family)
i think there is a REAL NEED to fine tune the Android/Iphone Eye-Fi Apps

Such things like Pro/X2 to choose whether RAW is transfer in Selective transfer mode (case: Shoot Raw+Jpeg, set card to selective transfer mode, and it will transfer both to phone. even i set that in the software only JPEG send to phone)

also the stable-ness of the apps, sometime it wait forever and not transfer, and some times it doesn't know to disconnect after transfer, and phone stuck using eye-fi card as "internet connection"

but ya.. Toshiba is not the ONLY one.. (maybe the only one accept receiving atm)

0 upvotes
Eye-Fi Support
By Eye-Fi Support (Sep 3, 2011)

I am not going to comment on anything other than Eye-Fi. As policy, we only comment about our products.

Eye-Fi is part of the SD Association, and is fully SDHC compliant.

Please see my replies below.

Thx --

Ziv.
Eye-Fi co-founder

0 upvotes
kirk1978
By kirk1978 (Sep 3, 2011)

I think Eye-Fi got a real head start in this.
but really need to work on the advertising. Lot of people doesn't know about this. and as twitter/foursquare/etc are all over the place, there is a real big market for this.

one thing tho. there are alot of good suggestion in both android market and itune app store. and i think if eye-fi can address these, it would bring it a bigger user base, especially as of this moment, you guys are the ONLY one does these SD cards (till end of the year as this post suggest)

oh .. like many addressed before.
CF card would be nice

Cheers
-K

0 upvotes
Oliver Cardona
By Oliver Cardona (Sep 3, 2011)

Only problem is my camera only takes a CF card and prefer not to use adapters.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Sep 3, 2011)

Finally a wireless SD card that can receive. I always wonder what took Eye-Fi so long to come up with a card that receives data. Toshiba has the answer.

A Wi-Fi SD card that can receive can potential mean we can turn any digital photo frame into active photo album, even carry useful information like weather, tweets, etc (overlay text on photo) and this can even be provided as premium solution that requires paid subscription. A lot of people may be willing to buy it if it is done right.

Sadly, timing is everything. With cheap Android tablets going for $99 or less. I no longer see a lot of value.

0 upvotes
MrClick
By MrClick (Sep 3, 2011)

Where do we get cheap Android tablets going for $99 or less?

0 upvotes
Kilrah
By Kilrah (Sep 4, 2011)

You do realise that no device currently expects or supports contents of a memory card to "magically" change without it doing it an action? This would wreak havoc on any photo frame you can find today.
Now maybe Toshiba have enough influence to create products that do support it and suggest that others do the same, but those will most of the time already have integrated Wi-Fi, so no need for the card.
It would have been interesting to use on existing devices, but nobody would want to face the customer service issues that would cause...

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Sep 5, 2011)

MrClick, check for Android Tablets shipped directly from China and also close out sales of cheap eBook reader that can be hacked. Pandigital made one of those 7" eReader that runs full Android, they were going for less than $90 last week. (800x600) I have limited success with the free App JustPictures!

Kilrah, valid point on compatibility. This is likely the reason Eye-Fi never supported it. But as long as Toshiba only claim compatibility with certified devices, anything else that works is just gravy. Given those cheap photo frames, I would expect them just reading off the flash and not caching it.

0 upvotes
ScottieC
By ScottieC (Sep 2, 2011)

Oh I am so there, none of that crappy Must "Register with our server in order to use this product" 7unk that eye-fi needs.

Kurt Haerting, the eye-fi does work with a CF card adapater, I'm doing that right now with a 1DMII and my 7D.

1 upvote
GHL_Vienna
By GHL_Vienna (Sep 4, 2011)

I wouldn't do that as you lose most of your 7D's advantages regarding its speed. Take serial shots e.g. The 7D can make up to 8/sec. Wouldn't be possible with an SDHC, even best class 10 type. Have tried that out 2 of the actually fastest class 10 cards (according to benchmarks). With my 400x 64GB Transcend CF Card the 7D works like a charm. And under very stressy shootings I'd even regret I don't have a 633x type, which is however really expensive.

0 upvotes
Kurt Haerting
By Kurt Haerting (Sep 2, 2011)

When will they ever make a WiFi CF Card? Sadly the Eye-Fi doesn´t work with a SD to CF Adapter so there should be a huge demand for that!
But aside of all the specs announced for the Toshiba there is not a single word about whether it is compatible with an CF adapter or not!?

0 upvotes
jhoff80
By jhoff80 (Sep 2, 2011)

Of course they announced something newer, because I just purchased an EyeFi a couple of days ago.

1 upvote
Octane
By Octane (Sep 2, 2011)

competition is good

1 upvote
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Sep 2, 2011)

Now if Nikon could only figure how to put GPS in a pro camera body.

0 upvotes
Marcel Mutter
By Marcel Mutter (Sep 2, 2011)

Look at Canon, they don't even support GPS directly on the camera. You will have to buy two extra boxes to have GPS.

With a Nikon you only have to buy a GPS receiver that connects directly to the camera.

0 upvotes
Marcel Mutter
By Marcel Mutter (Sep 2, 2011)

A big difference is that the Thoshiba card will support uploads to the card. It is not stated how much the power usage will be.

An other competitor is: http://www.spectec.com.tw/sdw-829.html

Lets see if Eye-Fi is going to support also upload to the card by extending the firmware.

0 upvotes
SethG
By SethG (Sep 2, 2011)

How is this different than an EyeFi?

0 upvotes
aroundomaha
By aroundomaha (Sep 2, 2011)

It will remain to be seen whether their performance, reliability and support will be on par with Eye-Fi. My experience on all counts with them has been superb.

0 upvotes
Eye-Fi Support
By Eye-Fi Support (Sep 3, 2011)

Thank you :-)

0 upvotes
Nate21
By Nate21 (Sep 2, 2011)

very nice idea hope the price is right

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Sep 2, 2011)

Very nice to see some eye-fi competition!

Only class 6? Class 10 would have been nice. No most folks don't need it but it would have been another way to differentiate from the eye-fi cards.

0 upvotes
MichaelSpotts
By MichaelSpotts (Sep 2, 2011)

For street shooting, I like the idea of transmitting to my iPad or iPhone, culling and editing on the fly, and posting online. There are some decent apps for processing black and white images.

0 upvotes
Eye-Fi Support
By Eye-Fi Support (Sep 3, 2011)

With Eye-Fi Direct, you can upload directly to your mobile phone or tablet:

http://www.eye.fi/how-it-works/features/direct-mode

0 upvotes
Total comments: 40