Memory and storage developer Kingston is looking to expand the storage capabilities of iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches—not by cracking the case or clamping on additional hardware, but with the Kingston Wi-Drive: a separate, highly-portable media server that users connect to via Wi-Fi. With the Wi-Drive, iOS device users can expand the amount of storage available to their iOS devices—and, even better, share media across multiple iOS devices simultaneously. So, for instance, trapped in a car on a road trip, the kids with the iPod touches can cruise through stored episodes of their favorite TV shows, while the front-seat passenger offloads and categorizes digital photos.
“Wi-Drive is an ideal solution for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users who feel confined by their current storage capacity,” said Kingston flash memory manager Andrew Ewing, in a statement. “Wi-Drive allows Apple device owners to wirelessly manage document and media files, and choose to share them with others, while on the go for work or pleasure. This unique functionality, combined with the durability of a Flash-based device, will satisfy both casual users and the most discerning technophiles.”
The Wi-Drive is initially available in 16 and 32 GB capacities, and sports integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi to connect to nearby iOS devices. Kingston says the server can run up to four hours on a single battery charge, and the device works with iPads, iPhones (running iOS 4.2.1 or newer), and recent iPod touch devices. Users need to load up the Wi-Drive from their computer via USB—just like loading up any other USB storage device—but once the media is loaded, multiple users can tap into it without any disruptions. Kingston is confident enough that the Wi-Drive model will succeed that it’s put out a call for game developers to leverage Wi-Drive functionality—entries are due by August 31, and the winner gets $1,500 and promotion. Of course, most game developers put a lot more than $1,500 of effort into their work.
The Wi-Drives are available now at leading retailers, with the 16 GB version prices at around $130, and the 32 GB version going for about $175.