Stephen Wildstrom of Business Week Online reports on "Wi-Fi Where It Isn't Needed."
He describes the difficulties using Kodak and HP products with WiFi -- wireless acess to the Internet. This, it appears, is an example of the promise of liberating technology run its course and dropped off the edge of reasonableness.
He found the EasyShare-One (US$600 - steep!) camera was okay for sending photos to Kodak's online photo sharing service, Ofoto, and to printers. (The HP WiFi printer, he found, was terrible setting up for receiving photo files.)
But other than that, WiFi was hopeless:
- low-grade protection means that the connecting WiFi system has to have its WPA protection reduced to WEP. That's the way wireless networks operate: at the lowest common denominator.
- finding a WiFi network in public means entering in passwords, email address, etc using a tiny stylus on the screen.
- doesn't work with most public networks, which also require you to pay to use them.
In Mr Wildstrom's summary, using a cable or docking station is still the easiest and fastest. I can see, however, why camera makers fall for WiFi -- they are desparate to differentiate their products in a market where feature sets are almost identical.