Many of the products visible at CES this year are ready to be manufactured within the next quarter or two. Most companies don't have the luxury of time to be debuting concepts that are not ready for manufacture.
Herein lies one of the greatest things about being able to meet with some of the big boys in the market. Not only can they display currenly completed (or nearly) products, but they also take the time to develop something really special for the show, something that up until then, you would not believe possible.
Seagate is one of those larger companies, and I had the opportunity to sit down with guys from the firm and talk about its newest invention, the concept car
of the hard drive world. Sporting 500GB of storage space, the drive is the first ever wireless
USB2 external hard drive. Yes, you read that right - wireless USB2, at full speed.
This may not sound like that great of a deal, until you think about exactly how breathtakingly fast USB2 really is when compared to Bluetooth or WiFi or other wireless solutions. Seagate enclosed the drive in one of its new external enclosures, though the internals are very different due to the connection method. It currently sports a rather outrageous looking antenna on the drive and out of the USB slot of the laptop that it was running on, but Seagate assured us that all the antennae will be disappearing soon. Their existence today is simply because the drive was using one of less than ten working wireless USB setups around. The drive was used to boot a Dell laptop, which had had its hard drive bay clearly gutted and bare, so that there was no question as to what drive was really starting the machine.
Where does Seagate plan to take this concept? They're currently sitting down to the table with Intel (and others) to discuss the possibility of the wireless USB being included in an upcoming chipset designs and hardware platforms, similar to how WiFi was brought into the Centrino platform. Once standardized, there would be little need for most USB enabled devices to sport a hard drive at all, allowing you instead to take your data with you to any computer terminal and have it boot like your own system.
Also on display was a product similar to the external hard drive and video player from Argosy
that we featured yesterday, but with a twist: hot-swappable external SATA-2 drives.
So what do you think of Seagate's vision? You don't need to do so wirelessly, but drop into our forums
and let us know what you think.
Left: the Seagate wireless hard drive. Right: the video player.