Storage, by and large, is really not a "news"-y thing. In fact, the news of the storage industry (particularly hard drives) can be a little less thrilling than the local paint drying competition. It's bigger, it's faster - that's all. That is, of course, until you meet D.A.V.E.
Dave is Seagate's latest pet project from its long-lost team of research and development. It's a portable 60GB HDD that very much resembles a rectangular hockey puck. Why do we care? Well, let me tell you (as if you had a choice)...
Dave, which is actually an acronym for Digital Audio Video Experience, is a hockey puck that also contains Bluetooth, Wifi (801.11g) and USB. It is an ultimate connection machine. It functions as the storage reserve for anything you want that can connect through those three mediums - meaning just about everything.
Furthermore, Dave is a tiny little handheld headless linux box. Under the very tightly closed hood, it contains a fully working Samba server, uPNP, and a few other connectivity mediums. The system runs off of the 1.8" 60GB HDD (which is formatted NFS, for those wondering just how
penguin it is). Thanks to the Samba server, though, you'd never know it - the whole file system is served up through the built in web device.
It works by creating an ad-hoc network over wifi (or being discovered by a Bluetooth device). You can then enter in a special web address, which takes your phone, camera, etc over to DAVE to stream the data back out to either the original device or something entirely different.
The content goes with you then, and suddenly you're not limited by the 8GB of the iTouch or the 2GB of your SD camera card. Your phone numbers, texts, and emails can be archived automatically, making switching phones a snap. The system is actually infinitely robust - it's already being picked up by Nokia for its cell phones and by Harman/Becker for an in-car MP3 system.
Due to its simplicity and robust nature, there's really a world of opportunities for such a little device. Unfortunately, therein lies the rub - it's so open-ended that Seagate really doesn't want to market it on its own currently. After all, the company does storage - and though wireless storage of this level is pretty cool, it's nowhere near where a few partners can take it. So, rather than a retail release of yet another boring storage product, Seagate is sending it to OEM partners to let them develop custom interfaces and functions for it instead.
We're a bit sad to hear of the OEM release as that will mean each group uses the device for just one of its myriad possibilities, but the concept and its future potential is pretty thrilling. Even outside of the geek cred of carrying a running
fully-functional headless NAS system in your pocket, it's another step forward in the ability to grab your data and go. Look Ma, no cords!
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