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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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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.

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