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Seagate Unveils Truly Wireless Drive But At A Price

Seagate has launched its first truly wireless hard disk drive, the GoFlex Satellite, a 500GB hard disk drive that can broadcast content to up to three devices simultaneously albeit at a cost.

The storage device is hardly bigger than an external hard disk drive and we're told that it is powered by Linux which could pave the way for some interesting applications (wireless pocket file server powered by sunlight anybody?).

It has a five hour battery life (with a two hour charging life), a 25 hour standby time and is more ruggedly built than other external hard disk drives.

The GoFlex Satellite is the storage equivalent of the Mi-Fi, a shareable, wireless hard disk drive that can be connected via cables if necessary. Seagate has brought in a nifty set of cables that allows you to support eSATA, Firewire and future connectors like Thunderbolt.

At launch, only Apple's devices - the iPad, the iPod Touch and the iPhone - will be natively supported with dedicated apps for each platform. By the end of June, Android apps will be available both in smartphone and tablet format (Gingerbread and Honeycomb).

That said, while wireless access is protected via WPA, anyone who has physical access to the hard disk drive can copy the content if it is not encrypted in the first place.

Seagate plans both firmware and app updates for the lifetime of the GoFlex Satellite which means that we should see some pretty interesting features being added like AirPlay, DLNA compatibility as well as the ability for the Satellite to connect to the web, which would allow you to access the drive from anywhere in the world.

Price remains the big issue though with the suggested retail price of the GoFlex Satellite expected to be around £169 or 199 Euros, which is four times the selling price of a bog standard external 500GB hard disk drive. It will be available for sale in August and within weeks in the US.