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Infinitec IUM with Game Consoles  (Source: Gizmodo)
A USB storage device that has no actual storage space

The USB port is one of the most ubiquitous computing interfaces ever designed. The port in its various sizes and guises is found on all manner of computers, game consoles, TVs, cable boxes, cameras, and more. The number of uses for USB is simply staggering.

A company called Infinitec has announced a new Infinite USB Memory Device or IUM. The company describes the IUM as the next generation of USB flash drives. The drive promises media streaming capability and claims to remove worry about how much space is left for storage and removing data before you add new data to the drive.

The IUM allows the user to share an entire HDD along with servers, external storage, and any other storage that your notebook has access to. That effectively means you will never run out of storage space, as long as your PC has space anyway. How much data from the drive is shared can be determined at the file level allowing the sharing of an entire drive or a single image on that drive.

IUM supports all file formats and if lost or stolen none of the files go with the drive because it relies on storage in other locations for actually storing the files. Infinitec also claims that the drive can stream media from a laptop to any device with a USB port including TVs, DVD players, game consoles and more. The IUM is specifically said to support the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.

To operate, the IUM has to be paired with a computer and can only be paired to a single computer. This allows multiple IUMs to be used in a location without interference. The downside to the IUM is that since the device uses your laptop or desktop HDD for storage you will need to have the computer with you on the road to access files. One interesting use for the device is to send the digital photos from your PC to a digital photo frame.

Pricing and availability are unknown.

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By therealnickdanger on 2/18/2010 1:10:03 PM , Rating: 5
Almost all new TVs, Blu-Ray players, consoles, media extenders, and all computers have ethernet ports or built-in wi-fi for streaming content or accessing files. So this is more a niche device that would be useful on a device that can't be networked, but has a USB port? Am I understanding this properly?

By smackababy on 2/18/2010 1:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is more of a "you can take it anywhere and have as much data as you want" kind of niche device.

By Smartless on 2/18/2010 1:23:43 PM , Rating: 3
I dunno, what's the point of having it on the road? The article says you need to have the computer its paired with around you. So, basically you plug it in to one laptop and have it data stream to another laptop? I guess I have the same question as original post, what purpose does this serve again?

By therealnickdanger on 2/18/2010 2:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. If the "server" (that the device is paired with) must be within wi-fi range in order to access its files, then how is this any different than just using 802.11 or BT connection to said "server"? Guaranteed that this will come with custom software that needs to be loaded and set up on the "server" - which is probably more involved and complicated than using Windows' own "connect to a network" wizard.

I'm interested to see how the shipping product fares, I'm just confused/skeptical at this point.

By GaryJohnson on 2/18/2010 2:16:40 PM , Rating: 4
The way I'm reading the Endgadget comments (some of which are from infinitec) it really is targeted at devices with USB memory stick reading capability, but no built-in wifi.

This is definately a niche market, but there may be enough of those early PS3s and 360s without built in wifi around to make this a useful product.

By therealnickdanger on 2/18/2010 2:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose if someone is really that opposed to running an ethernet cable to a device, then this would be their only option... other than using a cheap external USB HDD. haha

This thing just sounds worse and worse the more I think about it... unless it's $5.

By cmdrdredd on 2/19/2010 2:28:29 AM , Rating: 2
This is definately a niche market, but there may be enough of those early PS3s and 360s without built in wifi around to make this a useful product.

Learn your technology. The PS3, ALL PS3s have WiFi built in. NO Xbox 360 models at all come with it standard and you need an adapter.

By Pudro on 2/19/2010 5:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
No, YOU learn your technology. The 20 GB launch PS3s did NOT have wifi built in.

He was talking about these early PS3s, and all 360s (not just early 360s). That may have been worded awkwardly, but it isn't hard to figure out if you actually know your technology.

By christojojo on 2/20/2010 8:40:04 AM , Rating: 3
You know, once, I put two technologies together and they had puppies.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/18/2010 5:26:31 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah it's network storage for retards. Move along techies, nothing to see here.

By chagrinnin on 2/18/2010 6:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
Sarah Palin : That was satire,...right? [glances at palm] :P

By The0ne on 2/19/2010 10:29:46 AM , Rating: 2
*read notes on his palm*

Someone needs to come up with another device to help boost the speed, in various shapes and colors. That way, not only do you look cool having so many unnecessary devices, but it's fashionable.

By sepirocth on 2/20/2010 3:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
Basically one Perfect use i see on this is with older devices that dont have media sharing or wifi etc, but another perfect use is imagine you have a server you dont want anybody to touch like a file server or admin server at any business, so you would basically have a second HDD on it and use it with this device so therefore the main server is almost 100% protected as it is not connected to the network at all almost just one hdd is shared using this usb device with another networked computer, I was an admin before for a school and students always trying to mess around I would think this would be a good idea to keep file servers off the network.

By popopo on 2/23/2010 10:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
Thanksgiving gifts... and Christmas gifts..

What am I missing?
By Motoman on 2/18/2010 1:14:14 PM , Rating: 2 is this different than putting a share on your hard drive and letting other PCs on the network access it?

RE: What am I missing?
By PhatoseAlpha on 2/18/2010 1:14:43 PM , Rating: 3
Stand alone USB which mimics a standard USB drive means you can use it in USB devices that aren't PCs. Like the consoles pictured above. Also probably considerably easier to set up for a non-techie then a network share.

RE: What am I missing?
By Motoman on 2/18/2010 1:20:29 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, now I get it. Allow me to facepalm myself...

RE: What am I missing?
By JediJeb on 2/18/2010 2:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
So it is really just a wireless patchcable with autosetup?

What a useless waste of engineering.
By MrBungle123 on 2/18/2010 2:11:25 PM , Rating: 1
This would have been cool back in like '94 when networks were less common and everyone didn't have email and broadband internet connections...

RE: What a useless waste of engineering.
By Veerappan on 2/18/2010 2:17:32 PM , Rating: 4
I have to echo some of the other posters here. This would be really useful for streaming data to devices which don't have network connections, like my TV.

My TV has USB inputs for photos/videos, but it doesn't have a network connection. With something like this device, you could share photos/videos from your desktop/laptop/server to your TV/console without needing to actually populate a flash drive with the videos of the day (or needing to dig out an HDMI cable to plug the computer into the TV which is 30' away from the computer).

If your display device can transfer files over your existing network, yes this device is useless for you. If your display device doesn't have a network connection and supports USB storage devices, this might be useful.

By b534202 on 2/18/2010 2:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Having TBs of storage suddenly show up might just confuse some of these old devices. Some of the less well designed ones are just not equiped to handle that much data.

By ClownPuncher on 2/18/2010 3:35:49 PM , Rating: 3
It won't be able to stream 1080p videos, likely not even 720p. It may have some uses, but it looks like a niche product.

Could I???
By aguilpa1 on 2/18/2010 4:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
plug into a mini usb adapter than into my Canon camera, and send the data wireless to my laptop that is paired to this device and fool the camera into thinking it is plugged in directly into the laptop? Because that would be awwwesome!

RE: Could I???
By acase on 2/18/2010 4:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose maybe you could...but why?

RE: Could I???
By aguilpa1 on 2/18/2010 5:23:03 PM , Rating: 4
Wireless transmit images straight to laptop as they are taken.

RE: Could I???
By delphinus100 on 2/19/2010 12:13:52 PM , Rating: 2
That would be nice as automatic back-up, I suppose. Maybe even including immediate transfer through it to some remote location. Or immediate transfer to multiple nearby laptops and other (authorized) devices in range...

But there damn well had better still be removable storage in the camera, too.

How does this work? Wireless?
By iFX on 2/18/2010 1:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
So basically the device has a small amount of on-board storage and a wireless NIC which communicates with the storage host? Data is transferred from the target device (PC, console, whatever) via USB to the device's on-board storage and then transmitted via wireless to the storage host?

Seems like a pretty good idea to me.

RE: How does this work? Wireless?
By jonmcc33 on 2/18/2010 2:14:11 PM , Rating: 5
1. Slower than even USB 2.0 transfer rates.
2. Has no internal storage capacity. So in reality it doesn't have "infinite" storage space. It's like saying a power supply is the fastest processor on earth - when in fact it isn't capable of processing anything.

RE: How does this work? Wireless?
By Davelo on 2/24/2010 10:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
Yep. It's just buzzword marketing at it's worst.

Better be cheap
By nafhan on 2/18/2010 1:49:16 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason this thing might possibly sell at all is because the Xbox 360 wireless adapter is so expensive. With the MS brand adapter being way overpriced at close to $90, I could see some utility for this in specific situations. Of course, that's assuming it will sell for significantly less than $90.

By Iketh on 2/18/2010 7:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
I was among the 90% of readers who, at the end of that article, still wasn't sure wtf that device was... I'm seriously thinking about contributing my own articles for DT

Infinite Storage (deletion)...
By greylica on 2/18/2010 10:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
A Company Called Infinite Storage (deletion) has made an improvement that will lead you to invent the ''Time Machine'' to save your soul, just in case your mom use your pen drive to store a cake recipt made with Mpeg.

next generation?
By Strunf on 2/19/2010 8:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
The point of USB flash drives is to move your data around easily, if you need to bring your computer along then I would rather not make the jump.

It just has some use on the console market cause MS and SONY really don't make it easy to share files, I have a PS3 and I can't just share a folder in windows, I have to rely on a program to stream the files over the DLNA to the PS3, with PS3 Media Server it was easy but with some others not so much.

By Silver2k7 on 2/20/2010 5:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
lol @ infinite storage, too bad that wasn't it..
would have been nice to make a 10TB backup to the infinite storage drive :-)

By Flail on 2/21/2010 2:36:40 PM , Rating: 2

By hiscross on 2/24/2010 10:35:14 AM , Rating: 2
MobileMe does this today. I can gain access to my storage on a Mac, Windows, or Linux system via a web browser. MobileMe offers a number of services that work cross-plateform. You buy directly from Apple or get a better price at Amazon. No extra device is needed. There is free iPhone app that allows you to read your files. I'm sure there are alternatives to MobileMe if you shop around.

By Yaos on 2/18/10, Rating: -1
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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