Infinitec made a few waves at CES this year with its Infinite USB Memory (IUM) Drive, which leverages a computer’s existing Wi-Fi wireless networking and hard drive storage capacity, rather than relying on built-in storage. The idea is that the IUM Drive enables users to share their content and files to other computers or other people with complete control and security—and unlike a conventional USB thumb drive, the IUM drive never contains any data so there’s nothing lost if the IUM drive is lost or stolen. Plus, the IUM drive can stream movies, media, and pictures directly to a TV, gaming console, home theater, or other device with a USB port—and it supports HD content.
Now, Infinitec has put a date and a price tag on the IUM drive: according to the company, the device will be available July 1, 2010 at a price under $129.
When users pop in the IUM Drive, they first need to pair it uniquely with their computer: just flip a switch on the device to “Pair” mode, install the “Infinite Portal” software (Infinitec says they’ll support Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux), and configure what files and resources you do and do not want to share. Once the pairing is accomplished, unplug the IUM drive, flip the switch to “Infinite” mode. Now, take the IUM Drive to any other USB-capable device, and—so long as there’s network connectivity—it can connect back to the paired computer and retrieve whatever files and content the user has shared out via the Infinite Portal softwaRE—which can be just one file, or the entire machine, including external hard drives and even network resources. And, using the IUM, users can stream HD content to any USB-capable device.
It remains to be seen how seamless Infinitec’s Infinite Portal client software is, and whether the IUM presents any security issues. But the ability to connect back to a host computer via a plug-and-play USB device will solve a lot of the “sneakernet” hassles many users deal with every day with USB thumb drives.
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