Toshiba FlashAir wireless memory cards arrive

A wireless high-capacity SD card announced by Toshiba in March finally made it to retail shelves Tuesday.

The $80 FlashAir card allows data stored on the device to be transferred using standard WLAN communications. There is no installing of drivers or software and the built-in wireless LAN access point in the card does not require that it be connected to the Internet.

Several devices can access the card at the same time, Toshiba explained in a statement. So, for example, you could show your friends photos on your smartphone while at the same time downloading them to a PC.

The card, which has an 8GB capacity, is optimized for power efficiency and switches on only when necessary.

Partnership with Olympus

In addition to announcing the availability of FlashAir, Toshiba announced a partnership with Olympus. The camera company will offer the FlashAir card free with a mail-in rebate when specific Olympus camera models are purchased.

Toshiba FlashAir high-capacity SD card

FlashAir cards have been selling in Japan since the beginning of the year and were expected to be introduced into the United States last June but release was delayed by a standards wrangle.

A standard proposed by the SD Association was questioned by another maker of Wi-Fi cards, Eye-Fi. Eye-Fi challenged the standard because it maintained that the spec was very similar to the proprietary technology in its cards. That was a disturbing development for Eye-Fi, which has pretty much had the wireless SD market all to itself for the last seven years.

In addition to Toshiba and Eye-Fi, Trek also makes a Wi-Fi SD card that sells for $80 called the FluCard Pro.

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