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10-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
OK - unless of course it needs to know whether the envelope contains legitimate conents. Otherwise the FluCard itself is an open hack portal. Shouldn't there be some sort of encrypted handshake between the card and both the sending and receiving devices?

I mean, if this is so facile' why hasn't every device manufacturer done the same thing for years? (Which begs the question whether Pentax is brilliant or stupid).
The WiFi card will have the standard security measures of any other wifi system. It does not itself need to decide on whether the contents are legitimate or not. Its only responsibility is whether it is coming from a legitimate source, and that is based upon the standard wifi encryption and authentication protocols used in anything, be it a laptop, a webcam or whatever.

It is then up to the host device (in this case the camera) to determine what to do with the contents of the envelope it receives. It is only as open to hacking as they design it to be. The link does not provide an open portal to mess around with the camera, unless of course they design it that way. At the simplest you will just have an interpreter which 'listens' for specific commands and then acts upon them. Anything else will just be ignored. There may of course be backdoors and other security problems with the interpreter but those would be there even if the responsibility for this security is placed within the card's firmware rather than the camera's.

As for why it was not done before is anyone's guess. Why for instance doesn't k-30 have USB tethering? That was invented ages ago but is not implemented. Why don't all flashes have RF remote capability? That technology has existed since forever (sort of) but there are very few if any flashes (none of them Pentax) that have it.
Similarly WiFi cards providing communication (rather than autonomous image transfer) have also existed for a long time and were used quite extensively in some devices (PDAs typically).

A lot of things can be done and could have been done ages ago but it takes someone to decide to just do it. What is great about Pentax doing it is n ot the technology involved (which is almost trivial by today's standards) but the good sense of identifying it as a good solution and then going ahead and developing it.

Depending on the architecture it may even be easy to implement it on other models, it would be quite easy actually and just needs someone to decide that it would result in some profit. The only obstacle could be if the firmware does not have direct access to the SD card and is instead using a standalone chip to take care of the SD protocols and file handling - that would preclude using a wifi SD card as a communications device because it is very unlikley that it would be possible to alter the firmware of that chip.

10-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
It does not work that way. The card does not need to interpret anything. Whether it is a command or the recipe for a cake the Wifi card simply passes it on, just as a postman delivers your mail without needing to know what is in the envelope. The only thing that is 'unusual' is the use of the SD card for relaying information (any information) bewteen the camera and another device. If the card already knows how to relay information from its host to another device in wifi space (just as SD cards already did many years ago) then all that remain is to 'teach' the camera how to ask the card to relay its messages. The card just needs to receive those orders in a format it knows, and just like the postal service reads the address on the envelope and delivers it accordingly so does the wifi card relay whatever the camera asks it to relay. Just as the postman doesn;t need to know Chinese to deliver a letter in Chinese so does the wifi card not need to know anything about the 'language' that the camera speaks, provided of course that the address on the envelope is written in a language the postman can understand.

The matter of sending captured photos to a host is a different matter and that can be done completely independently from the camera, as in fact happens with most cmeras that are not even aware that they have a wifi card in the SD slot. That part is the very common part that has nothing at all specific to Pentax.

So, summing it up it is just a combination of what WiFi SD cards used to be some seven or eight years ago (a wifi card just like we used to put in laptops to make them wifi capable) combined with what WiFi SD card has become more recenlty (automatic transfer of pictures).
You say that "it does not work that way" with some conviction. How are you certain?

Modern EyeFi-type wireless photo storage cards and the old PalmPilot-type SD WiFi are really two very different things, and I don't see any benefit at all to combining them.

As I think you know, those old PalmPilot cards -- I had one -- are really just plain old WiFi interface cards that connect to a device via an SDIO interface. There's no built-in intelligence at all. The SDIO interface repurposes the pins of an SD-like card to instead directly control an attached digital device, like a webcam, GPS, or WiFi card. An SDIO host -- like some PalmPilots -- must be designed and programmed to utilize specific SDIO devices, and the host needs to have the proper drivers. The card can't just be treated like a regular memory card. (Although some old SDIO cards are also memory cards -- dual purpose.) The host does everything.

The new WiFi SD cards are (nearly) transparent to the device, and they just use their own processor and on-board memory to watch for new files then dispatch them -- to a web site, attached mobile device, or just make them available via an on-card web server. The one exception to the transparency point I'm aware of is with EyeFi cards, which are capable of communicating status back to the camera so the camera doesn't shut down (turn the power off to the card) while a transmission is ongoing. That's an optional feature that only some cameras support.

Those are two totally different paradigms. Why would a new device (based on an existing modern WiFi SD storage implementation) try to integrate the old model? Why have an on-card WiFi transceiver that needs to interface with BOTH the on-card processor and an external processor? That's an overly complex hardware design.

It would be far, far easier to take a "smart" WiFi SD card with an on-board processor, and just program it to exchange specific authorized command/control messages with its host. And for live view, it would make sense for the camera to simply provide image frames that are NOT intended to be stored on the card, but are rather handled directly by the card's processor and packaged for streaming to a remote recipient.

All of this can be done with some extra programming! There's no need to provide the card with a part-time SDIO interface to the wireless hardware -- which no other camera would have used. That interface model has come and gone.

It's ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that I'm wrong. But I'm pretty sure this implementation makes more technical sense.
10-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
What is great about Pentax doing it is n ot the technology involved (which is almost trivial by today's standards) but the good sense of identifying it as a good solution and then going ahead and developing it.
Cool! I thought I understood you to be dismissive of the FluCard for Pentax. I was not correct.

My opinion of the decision relates to cost control for the K3, which Pentax apparently wants to release at a price that will serve as a street price for a long time, as in the durablility of the GR price (and its competitive pricing relative to the Nikon Coolpix A).

Making Wi-Fi an option rather than built in (you pay for it only if you want it) and making it worth the money (you also get tethering) is really an elegant business decision. If you don't want tethering, an Eye-Fi Mobi (jpeg only) is $39 and the camera is smart enough to set up the card semi-automatically.

Last edited by monochrome; 10-24-2013 at 01:56 PM.
10-24-2013, 02:31 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Cool! I thought I understood you to be dismissive of the FluCard for Pentax. I was not correct.

My opinion of the decision relates to cost control for the K3, which Pentax apparently wants to release at a price that will serve as a street price for a long time, as in the durablility of the GR price (and its competitive pricing relative to the Nikon Coolpix A).

Making Wi-Fi an option rather than built in (you pay for it only if you want it) and making it worth the money (you also get tethering) is really an elegant business decision. If you don't want tethering, an Eye-Fi Mobi (jpeg only) is $39 and the camera is smart enough to set up the card semi-automatically.
Sorry if I gave that impression. I am all out in favour of what they did. If I were to crtiticize something it would only be that they didn't do it earlier

10-25-2013, 06:59 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
. Maybe there's a $10 SDcard on eBay and a $2 app on Google Play that will let you do everything that the Pentax branded card does.
If not, maybe there will be. It is amazing how quickly knockoffs appear.
10-25-2013, 07:09 PM   #51
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The way I look at it. It only makes sense to be able to use the Pentax Flucard on all pentax cameras for their wifi implementation to make any sense. Just One time cost that can be beneficial to all pentax cameras. It also sells the propriety sd card to those existing camera owners. But they won't say anything until there's a firmware update of old cameras.
10-26-2013, 01:30 AM   #52
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This 'might' be coming for also existing WiFi compactible cameras after a while. If it is just coding. But this feature will be in future anyway, and that is great IMO.

QuoteOriginally posted by lightbulb Quote
The way I look at it. It only makes sense to be able to use the Pentax Flucard on all pentax cameras for their wifi implementation to make any sense. Just One time cost that can be beneficial to all pentax cameras. It also sells the propriety sd card to those existing camera owners. But they won't say anything until there's a firmware update of old cameras.
10-26-2013, 03:36 AM   #53
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Yup. We transfer sd card between cameras, it is a green movement to port the wifi too.

10-26-2013, 07:15 AM   #54
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Fyi at Photoplus Pentax said the flu card will only be able to tether when used with the k3. On other cameras it will just work like a regular memory card.

They expect the card to start shipping in December. There aren't any production or even pre-production cards in circulation yet, only prototypes.

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10-27-2013, 12:30 AM   #55
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SDIO capability is necessary for tethering!
All other cards that only watch for new files (.jpeg .nef .pef ...) in flashmemory need a different firmware, maybe also hardware.
Even the camera is only "communicating" with the old Flu-Card by deleting special jpgs.
(It would be nice if the Pentax FW will run on old Flu-Cards)

-Linus-
10-28-2013, 04:25 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by -Linus- Quote
SDIO capability is necessary for tethering!
All other cards that only watch for new files (.jpeg .nef .pef ...) in flashmemory need a different firmware, maybe also hardware.
Even the camera is only "communicating" with the old Flu-Card by deleting special jpgs.
(It would be nice if the Pentax FW will run on old Flu-Cards)

-Linus-
Soooo. It will be interesting to see if the 8Gb Flucard packaged with the Silver K3 in Australia will be able to perform the same functions as the Pentax branded Flucard. Time will tell, time will tell...
10-28-2013, 06:54 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Essdubbya Quote
Soooo. It will be interesting to see if the 8Gb Flucard packaged with the Silver K3 in Australia will be able to perform the same functions as the Pentax branded Flucard. Time will tell, time will tell...
Probably not... Since Pentax has stated that you need their branded flucard to do the special stuff, and that it won't ship till Dec...
10-28-2013, 04:56 PM   #58
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FluCard GeoTag App for iPhone

I went to FluCard website and searched for FluCard apps on my iPhone. One of the interesting apps is the FluCard Geotag app which uses the iPhone GPS information to geotag the photo. There may be an Android version also...
10-29-2013, 03:57 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by agchang Quote
I went to FluCard website and searched for FluCard apps on my iPhone. One of the interesting apps is the FluCard Geotag app which uses the iPhone GPS information to geotag the photo. There may be an Android version also...
The Android version is here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Flucard_GeoTag
12-29-2013, 05:52 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
They expect the card to start shipping in December. There aren't any production or even pre-production cards in circulation yet, only prototypes.
Hi Adam, we are almost at the end of December, have you heard anything new regarding the availability of the card?, thanks
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