The company began selling its FlashAir line of wireless cards in Japan earlier this month, and has launched a campaign across Tokyo to promote its file-sharing features. The product currently comes in an 8GB version that costs about ¥>6000 (US$72) at Japanese retailers. A similar memory card without the wireless functionality currently costs around ¥1000.
Nakai said Toshiba has made an API (application programming interface) for the card’s software available to software and device manufacturers so they can add functionality and ensure it works with their devices.
Memory cards from California-based Eye-Fi have proven popular for their ability to automatically sync wirelessly with other devices and download photos from the digital cameras in which they are used. The company recently spoke out against a new specification for SD cards with Wi-Fi proposed by a major standardization body, saying the move infringes on its intellectual property.
Wireless memory cards could eventually be made obsolete by digital camera makers, who are increasingly building Wi-Fi features directly into their hardware.
Toshiba is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of NAND flash semiconductors used in memory cards, which could give it pricing and technology advantages over rivals.