USB smart drives – another stamp of approval

Press Release: USB flash drive Summary: The USB Flash Drive Alliance is officially standing behind “smart” drives where 3rd party applications run directly from a USB flash drive or UFD. This endorsement along with the strong momentum of flash drives in general will surely cement the long term staying power of USB as a preferred bus technology. The USB Flash Drive Alliance (UFDA), a consortium of leading USB flash drive manufacturers, today announced it will endorse a new generation of USB “smart” drives, which allow users to run active programs from USB flash drives. USB smart drives provide users the power of a desktop in a flash drive — the ability to run personalized programs from virtually any computer, anywhere, including games, instant messaging and photo editors, browsers with personal settings and bookmarks, as well as encryption to keep information safe. In an era of increasing mobility and increased security risk for critical information, USB smart drives meet evolving demands by enabling ultra-portable access to personalized computing, with encryption technology readily available for safe-keeping of files. USB flash drives sales in 2006 are forecasted to reach 150 million units, with that number growing to 340 million in 2008, consisting of approximately 75% smart drives, according to Web-Feet Research. “USB smart drives will fill a need in the market for portable, convenient access to personal information and programs,” said Alan Niebel, Founder and CEO of Web-Feet Research. “While they have already taken a lead position in information storage, the smart drive functionality is a powerful development that takes portable computing to a new level of ubiquitous computing.” UFDA members are united in support of an open platform and standardization for USB smart drives, allowing maximum interoperability and innovation to drive development. “Consumers have already embraced the convenience of USB flash drives for storing their personal files and sharing things like photos and presentations,” said Steffen Hellmold, president of UFDA. “Smart drives will give users so much more functionality and freedom with computing. And we expect to see many choices available from manufacturers by the end of year.” USB Smart Drives are currently available from select manufacturers, with many more expected to release products for the 2006 holiday season. Additionally, software is available for download, including Ceedo, to make existing USB flash drives “smart.” UFDA members include: Lexar, PNY Technologies, Inc., Samsung Semiconductors Inc., Buffalo, Crucial Technology, Infineon Technologies, International Microsystems Inc., Kingston Technology and Peripheral Enhancement. The USB Flash Drive Alliance was formed to educate consumers about the benefits of portable, easy-to-use, powerful devices. USB flash drives are powerful storage and mobile desktop devices that require no additional software or connectors, and are powerful enough to store up to 8 GB of data — providing consumers and businesses with a fast and easy way to store and transport digital information. via Manila Bulletin

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Rich Gates

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