The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) saw a very small innovation that is likely to have a very big impact on the storage industry in a near future.
Seagate presented a prototype version of a 1.8-inch Wireless USB drive (picture here). Mass production is still 12 months away but the drive was functional at CES and was an external one, looking like an external USB Wireless Access Point.
The drive can be accessed from any W-USB-compatible device. It does not take long to envision the potential advantages - and admin nightmares that it might generate. W-USB pens stored in your pocket or W-USB miniature hard disks suspended in the ceiling. No word about capacity right now but we can expect it to be in the region of 100GB to 120GB.
Given that WUSB has a transfer rate nearing firewire, 480mbits per second, it is totally feasible that the concept of plugging-in something (other than the power cable) might soon become obsolete.
Obviously, you can expect all sorts of problems to crop up. I expect security and reliability to top up that list. Just like a hacker can eavesdrop a Wi-fi connection, W-USB snooping may become a popular game for some.
Indeed, that may be a major cause for concern since the popularity of appliances like the iPod may soon make it possible for worms to contaminate your computer via your MP3 player and the likes. It is only a matter of time before bird flu like cross contamination occurs in the virtual world.