In a letter to registered users of its X1 and X2 series Wi-Fi SD cards, Eyefi recently let its longtime customers know that they would basically have to upgrade or be left behind. The company is doing away with its Eyefi Center application, which was required to initialize the older cards but is no longer necessary with the new Mobi cards. As reported in PetaPixel, the decision was apparently made out of concern for the outdated wireless encryption technology in the older cards that could potentially be unsafe. The decision comes just days after Eyefi announced it sold its Eyefi Cloud service to Ricoh.
Eyefi has set an end of life date of September 16 of this year. While the company began phasing out the X2 series as far back as 2012, the cards continued to be sold through authorized channels until March 2015. That means some customers affected by the decision have only had their cards for a little over a year. Understandably, many are not happy with the news.
In an open letter written on Hacker News, one longtime Eyefi customer lambasted the company for the decision: “That your company would have the gall to sell cards that would be obsolete within a few years is preposterous.” The customer went on to express discontent at the 20 percent discount Eyefi is offering for users who upgrade to the new Mobi cards.
Before built-in wireless connectivity was a common feature in new cameras, photographers wanting to wirelessly transfer photos from their cameras relied on EyeFi, and many still do. EyeFi’s Wi-Fi-enabled SD memory cards still offer benefits over many built-in Wi-Fi solutions, including EyeFi Cloud and the ability to upload images straight to a Mac or Windows PC, rather than needing to go through an iOS or Android app. It’s rare that a company halts support of a hardware product so completely when it is still new enough to be widely used.
There is a chance that X2 series cards already activated through Eyefi Center will continue to work with limited functionality after September 16, but Eyefi will no longer support the cards in any capacity. Users of the older cards have until September 15 to upgrade to the Mobi series at the discounted price (20 percent off for up to three cards). More details can be found in this FAQ on Eyefi’s website.
Update June 30: This article originally stated that Ricoh had purchased Eyefi. Ricoh purchased only Eyefi Cloud, the online photo storage service. The article has been updated to clarify this.