SD cards have undeniably won the flash storage wars. While other memory cards were available for short periods of time, none have infiltrated our lives so complete as those defined by the SD Associations.Although, most people recognize newer formats like miniSD cards and microSDs, which are commonly found in smartphones and tablets, those aren’t the only changes to occur with SD technology – to stay up-to-date on the changes.
SD Cards and Wireless Tech
In 2012, the SD Association officially incorporated wireless standards into SD cards.
This means that SD cards will not only add additional storage to your devices in the future, but that you’ll be able to transfer photos from your camera directly to your computer on the same network.
In the past, manufacturers like Eye-Fi had produced WiFi-enabled SD cards, but they tended cost much more than SD cards with comparable capacities without wireless capabilities.
For example, Eye-Fi sells an 8 gigabyte card for $60, while you can buy an 8 gigabyte SD card for well under $10 from a variety of retailers. Now that wireless technology has been added to the SD card standard, you can expect more cards to become available, and this competition will drive down the price of WiFi SD cards or push overpriced cards out of the picture.
There are actually two types of wireless functions that the new standards outline. Wireless LAN SD cards with the first interface, known as the Web interface, type will be able to support server upload and peer-to-peer activities, which makes them more appropriate for businesses than individual users. However, the second interface type focuses on home network activities. According to the SD Association, a WiFi SD card can provide both types of interfaces, however.
Changes in 2011
Prior to the release of the wireless standard, the SD Association had a couple other changes underway. In the beginning of 2011, for example, the association unveiled a standard that would provide SD cards with triple the speeds of previous standards.
For users, this means computers and devices will be able to more quickly read and write data to the cards installed in their devices. The standard defined bus speeds at up to 312 MB/s, and while this is the theoretical limit, SD cards have the potential to transfer data faster than broadband Internet.
With the speed upgrades, the SD Association also announced new eBook functions. According to a press release, the eBook application could turn any device using an SD card for storage into an eReader. The association hopes that these changes will allow publishers and manufacturer to preload the SD cards on their devices with full-color, high-illustration books to inform and entertain the readers. Graphic novels and, potentially, magazines could become more accessible thanks to this change.
Later last year, the association paired with GlobalPlatform to add a smartchip to existing SD cards. With this chip, an SD card could be used to authenticate ID, make payments or sign up for services. While both companies are still working to make this idea a reality, it just makes sense.
Near-Field Communication, or NFC, is becoming more popular. It’s not yet ubiquitous, but adding a similar ability to an SD card, which people use every day, can help to improve the popularity of smartchips. Hopefully, we’ll be able to use them in more than just business cards or the Samsung Galaxy S III.
We’re sure that the SD association has more changes on the horizon for 2013, of course.