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Wireless USB storage is coming

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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.