USB smart drives set for lift off
Akin to the ‘LiveCD’ idea popular with various distributions of Linux – such as Knoppix – the USB smart drives can contain a range of software applications, such as instant messaging, security, email, synchronisation and VoIP software, so that the owner is confident of a working set of applications at any PC with a USB socket.
Perhaps the only categories missing are an Office suite, but we were told most PCs already have Office installed, and remote access software such as Citrix, so that professionals can easily log into their corporate network.
The idea is that you can always have your personal workspace with you without having to drag around a laptop. You will of course still need access to a computer of some kind though.
Drives supporting the new format will be available on 15 October from Kingston Technology, Memorex, SanDisk and Verbatim in capacities ranging from 256MB to 2GB. Pricing has yet to be announced.
‘The USB smart drive category is beginning to gain momentum, driven by prominent hardware and software vendors,’ said Gartner Senior Analyst Joseph Unsworth. ‘The next 18 months will be interesting to watch as new software developers come on board, broadening the landscape for new applications while attracting new consumers.’
More information, including a range of ‘smart’ applications, is available from the U3 website.