With storage and organization of digital content becoming a hot button issue with consumers these days it’s encouraging to see several manufacturers coming to market with portable, high capacity, removable hard drives. On top of the growing demand for these devices in the consumer market, the small and medium business market (SMB) is desperate for simple, affordable storage solutions as well.
The Storage Visions 2007 Conference, held at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, ran the two days prior to the opening of CES 2007 and some rather interesting news emerged from this expo, once a part of the CES Show.
Agere Systems introduced an entirely new product category at the event, referring to it as a Mobile Content Server, that essentially un-tethers users from the PC and stationary storage devices. This hand-held, battery-operated device uses a Bluetooth-equipped cellular phone as a remote control to stream content to a variety of networked consumer electronic devices. The company claims they are putting, “control of sharing digital content where it belongs – in the hands of the consumer.”
The company added that the device will allow users, “unprecedented connectivity, processing and storage capability to access, back up and share their digital content whenever and wherever they want in peer-to- peer mode or over the Internet.” The BluOnyx unit is just a little bigger than a credit card and enables mobile users to share and stream music, video and digital pictures to or from electronic devices ranging from cell phones, PCs, digicams, game machines, DSL routers and the like. The company was quick to add that the BluOnyx can, “finally make the PC just another consumer device instead of the center of the digital universe.” Several variations on this theme will be offered by Agere with price points in the $99-$249 range.
HP also spoke of a 300GB removable drive they are planning to release later this year that will essentially serve the same purpose but details of that product were not yet available.
The two-day event addressed the fact that real-world storage and content management solutions will be making big news in 2007 as the CE/Imaging industry will be forced to listen to frustrated consumers as they become buried under the mountains of digital content they are collecting. Sanyo, Toshiba, Hitachi, SanDisk, Pexagon Technology and Samsung, among others, also showcased storage and management solutions that we’ll be taking a closer look at in the weeks and months ahead.