With the proliferation of smart-cameras, cameras with wireless capabilities and Wi-Fi memory cards, it's never been easier to get your images where you want without resorting to using cables. Adding to these options, Hama has just announced a wireless card reader which is designed to transfer photos and videos onto your iPad or iPhone sans wires. The Wi-Fi Data Reader for Apple Devices can also be used as a Wi-Fi repeater/router.
The new reader is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, as well as USB sticks and (with an adapter) microSD cards. It means that stored files can easily be accessed by an iPad or iPhone wirelessly. After connecting to the Wi-Fi Data Reader, users can access files – organized into videos, photos, music and documents categories – using the free Wi-Fi Reader App.
In addition to the ability to transfer photographs, which Hama is primarily using to market the Wi-Fi Data Reader, there's the option to watch videos, play music files or view documents straight from the app. Users can also download, move and upload files, meaning the device can also be used as a more generic memory expansion for those who are finding themselves short on storage space.
Unfortunately, compared to built-in Wi-Fi options, the reader means you're still going to have to take your memory card out of the camera to get files onto your iPad for storage, editing or sharing. However, the wireless functionality is a nice touch compared to Apple's tethered iPad Camera Connection Kit, and could come in handy in some situations. If you're shooting on Compact Flash and want to get files onto an iPad without your computer, you'll still need a tethered reader, though.
There's also the added bonus that the device can be used as a simple Wi-Fi repeater/router – useful if you're staying somewhere with only a wired network. Once connected to a network via a cable, the reader can be wirelessly connected to up to five devices, providing simultaneous access to stored data and the internet.
Battery-operation means you're not tied to a power socket (which really would defeat the purpose of the device) and the Wi-Fi Data Reader for Apple Devices can be charged using a USB cable. When switched off it can be used as an ordinary card reader.
Compatible with iOS 5 or higher, the reader will go on sale shortly, and is due to sell for €70 (that's around US$90).
Product page: Hama Wi-Fi Data Reader