Wifi Digital Cameras: Canon and Olympus Newly Minted Patents

Two newly minted patents to Canon and Olympus covering wifi image transfers for digital cameras hit in January are just the beginning…

Canon recently received an issued patent covering an external device, such as a PC, that triggers wireless transfer of images from one or more digital cameras in a home or office network.

Also in January, Olympus received an issued patent on wirelessly transferring digital images from a digital camera to a storage device, such as a PC. Even smarter, it includes the concept of deleting the camera’s images after successfully Wifi downloading to a person’s chosen device, like a PC, automatically and knowing not to delete if downloading to a device that is not the chosen device.

What does this mean for cameras like the Kodak EasyShare v610 and the TechCrunch-covered Eye-Fi? If a direct partnership isn’t already in development, Work-arounds might include having wireless transfers without a smart auto-deleting image step as well as not using an external device to initiate the process.

Importantly, these two inventions highlight the start of who owns the various steps of wireless digital camera image transfers – a growing and hot area. Clearly, late comers Apple with the iPhone and Microsoft’s rumored Zune phone will need to consider wireless image transfer with partnerships in mind. Short term, Apple seems to be happy to “power up and update” process by docking manually. Zune more clearly has stressed wireless as a main feature and should move to snap up some smart concepts.