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AirStash turns SD cards wireless

AirStash turns SD cards wireless

The AirStash is more than a bulky card reader - it turns any SD card into a portable wireless media server.

Wearable Inc. has unveiled its latest gadget - an oversized USB drive which converts your SD cards into a portable, battery-powered wireless media server.

The aptly-named AirStash - via UberGizmo - appears, at first glance, to be a bulky USB memory card reader - but the bulk is there for a reason. Once an SD card is inserted, the device becomes a self-contained WiFi-connected media server, providing the content on the card to any PC within range - either over an unencrypted or WPA2-PSK secured connection.

Designed to easily bring additional content to Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and the up-coming iPad - although compatible with any device which supports a WiFi connection and has a web browser on board - the AirStash allows up to five hours of media sharing from a single charge. The USB connection allows for charging either from a host PC or a powered USB hub or mains adaptor - and using a PC to charge allows it to act as a traditional SD card reader, too

Supporting up to 32GB SDHC cards, it's a neat solution for sharing video and audio to devices that have small quantities of on-board storage - and the fact that each different device can stream its own choice of content should make for quieter car journeys for those with children.

Sadly, the AirStash has managed to price itself out of the impulse market: available for $99.99 (£65), it will have to be a considered purchase - although anyone who has managed to snag an iPad will likely be interested.

Can you think of the killer app that the AirStash needs, or is it not much more than an expensive novelty card reader? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

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mclean007 17th March 2010, 12:54 Quote
Quote:
anyone who has managed to snag an iPad will likely be interested
Doubt it - if it doesn't have an Apple logo on it, it won't attract the clamouring hordes of fools who are currently lining up to buy the most pointless piece of technology since the Apple Newton (wait, I'm sensing a trend here...) on the basis that it is "sooooo shiny", despite its utter lack of practical purpose. Stephen Fry, hang your head in shame.
PureSilver 17th March 2010, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple iPad Specification
iPad Camera Connection Kit
The iPad Camera Connection Kit gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera: using your camera’s USB cable or directly from an SD card.

Doesn't that negate the point of this thing for the iPad? Instead of having to stream data over a wireless connection, why don't you just plug the SD card straight into it? Even if you can't play video straight off the card, which I should hope you can, with a minimum of 16GB internal storage you could certainly import the video to the iPad's own storage and watch it. This is a neat solution, without a problem - anything with a screen you'll want to watch video on (PMPs, PSPs, iPods, iPhones) is either already nothing but a mass-storage device or has the ability to take memory cards anyway. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

In other news, what exactly was wrong with wires in these portable applications? They use far less power, have a more solid connection, could run from the portable device's own internal battery and thus have considerably reduced bulk. In addition, the poor owner isn't constantly irradiated by two transceivers presumably close to their person. I can picture a variant of this device now, except instead of really expensive and wireless it would be cheap and wired to something useful like USB or mini-USB. You know, we could call it... an SD-card reader.

[EDIT]The wires thing holds true for almost all portable wireless devices - when battery power is a priority, wires are the way forward, as anyone who uses Bluetooth on a regular basis will attest.[/EDIT]
chrisb2e9 17th March 2010, 13:43 Quote
I like the idea of putting this in my car and connecting it to my (soon to be had) zune hd to compliment its storage capacity.
Rkiver 17th March 2010, 13:46 Quote
The concept is good, I'd be interested to see what it's like streaming HD content.
Hamish 17th March 2010, 14:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
Doesn't that negate the point of this thing for the iPad? Instead of having to stream data over a wireless connection, why don't you just plug the SD card straight into it?
ipad doesnt have an sd card slot :)
mclean007 17th March 2010, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
Doesn't that negate the point of this thing for the iPad? Instead of having to stream data over a wireless connection, why don't you just plug the SD card straight into it?
ipad doesnt have an sd card slot :)
Read the quote mate - Puresilver is pointing out that Apple has / will have a connection kit available to hook up to the iPad, with a USB host port for connecting your camera and an SD card slot.
Furymouse 17th March 2010, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Read the quote mate - Puresilver is pointing out that Apple has / will have a connection kit available to hook up to the iPad, with a USB host port for connecting your camera and an SD card slot.

So this could be better than the iPeriphreal if it comes in at a lower price.
Burnout21 17th March 2010, 18:07 Quote
want, simple as!

I thought the SD cards with built in wireless connection was cool, but this is handy.
PureSilver 17th March 2010, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furymouse
So this could be better than the iPeriphreal if it comes in at a lower price.

It's £65. I know Apple are complete rip-off merchants - I've owned four of their products - but there's just no way that a USB/SD adapter less than 2" square (scroll down to 'Camera Connection Kit') will be more than £25, which is the usual price Apple make you pay for that sort of thing. £40 is a big difference for decreased functionality if you're an iPad owner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
I thought the SD cards with built in wireless connection was cool, but this is handy.

Is there anyone that actually uses those Eye-Fi cards around? I'd be really interested to know, because it seems to me that they're grotesquely expensive compared to regular SD cards (£50 plays £10) and the pain just gets even worse (to the tune of £50) if you want amateur-enthusiast features like RAW support. Who buys these things? It surely isn't professional photographers - 300 12-megapixel wedding photos wouldn't fit on the reduced-capacity cards, and that's before you factor how long it would take to transfer them wirelessly (longer than it would take to dig out the cable and do it manually, I'd guess). I don't think it's amateur paparazzi either; they're even more trigger-happy than the professionals. It can't be point-and-shooters like me because for the sake of £40 I use a cable which is faster and doesn't drain the batteries.

If it's not cameras, what is it? Almost all mobile devices these days, from netbooks to mobiles to PMPs and laptops, has wi-fi built in. What needs it adding via SD card? Got one? Please speak up if you do!
HandMadeAndroid 17th March 2010, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Quote:
anyone who has managed to snag an iPad will likely be interested
Doubt it - if it doesn't have an Apple logo on it, it won't attract the clamouring hordes of fools who are currently lining up to buy the most pointless piece of technology since the Apple Newton (wait, I'm sensing a trend here...) on the basis that it is "sooooo shiny", despite its utter lack of practical purpose. Stephen Fry, hang your head in shame.

I think as a large remote control for your apple products; browsing your MP3 collection etc. Maybe for this it will be useful.
[- pio -] 18th March 2010, 00:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
It's £65. I know Apple are complete rip-off merchants - I've owned four of their products - but there's just no way that a USB/SD adapter less than 2" square (scroll down to 'Camera Connection Kit') will be more than £25, which is the usual price Apple make you pay for that sort of thing. £40 is a big difference for decreased functionality if you're an iPad owner.

You do realize that the Apple dongle will most likely support photos ONLY? That is the way the similar product for the iPod worked, and the page you link to says "supports standard formats including JPEG and RAW".

On a sidenote; the fact that all of Apple's media products that can display images support such formats as RAW and .psd is quite astonishing considering the primary market of f.ex. the iPod Classic..
PureSilver 18th March 2010, 10:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [- pio -]
You do realize that the Apple dongle will most likely support photos ONLY?
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPad Camera Connection Kit
The iPad Camera Connection Kit gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera

Sounds pretty much like it supports videos to me. And even if it can't play them from the SD card for some mysterious reason, you could always just import them from the SD card to internal storage and play from there.
Stelph 18th March 2010, 12:39 Quote
TBH I agree with Puresilver, when comparing this device with apples own SD card adapter currently its not a viable alternative IMO. Wearable Inc should have made this compatable with other memory cards as well (i.e Sony propriety ect), so that it had more functionality over the apple option, which means people would be more likely to buy it.

But even if it did support the exra cards, I would guess that people would only buy the adapter for a £10 - £20 price premium over the apple adapter, so really this should be priced £35 - £45 max
Jumeira_Johnny 18th March 2010, 17:31 Quote
I know you guys like to crap yourselves with your anti apple stuff, but if you can expand your minds for a minute, you might want to look into how this can turn any WiFi hot spot into a secure photo dump.

Traveling for 2 months and don't want to lug a laptop and hard drive around? Plug in your SD card and up load to a server at home. Ad hoc WiFi to laptop or desktop for fast PJ uploads to a wire service instead of having a poor schmoe running cards. Photo dump to someone at a wedding while you keep shooting.

There is way more to this then just the iPad.
PureSilver 18th March 2010, 18:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumeira_Johnny
I know you guys like to crap yourselves with your anti apple stuff, but if you can expand your minds for a minute, you might want to look into how this can turn any WiFi hot spot into a secure photo dump.

Yeah, and that's nice and all, but it's still much more expensive, a lot bigger, and lot less convenient than an Eye-Fi card that will do exactly the same thing. The Eye-Fi will automatically back up to online storage, and it can do ad-hoc to your laptop too without having to be removed from the camera like this stupid thing requires, so your wedding shooting will be completely uninterrupted, not to mention some other faintly pointless things like geotagged. And when an item makes Eye-Fi look like a good deal, you know it's a pretty niche object.

I'd also point out that thing is £65. For £65, you could purchase 10 4GB SDHC cards; that's 40GB of photo space and they'd still be lighter and more versatile than this thing over a long trip. For £65 you could have a 32GB card that even a wedding shoot couldn't fill. I don't doubt that somewhere there is someone who can somehow justify this purchase. I'm not knocking them, I'd just like them to explain it to me.

[EDIT]I have found a reason! Apparently, the Eye-Fi card doesn't play nice with CF-adapters. So, if you own a CF-reliant camera, and use SD cards via an adapter, this is probably your best means of backup if you don't carry other cards with you, and don't have any other means of transferring the photos to storage (like wires).[/EDIT]

[RE-EDIT]No, sorry, the reason went away. Eye-Fi now sell their own special CF-adapter and have updated relevant firmware.[/RE-EDIT]
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