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Big Future for Little USB Drives

Techstination feature for Thursday, November 20, 2003

A big future for little USB drives. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Israeli based M-Systems has been a pioneer in the technology used in flash memory drives that plug into the USB ports of computers... allowing you to easily transport data between home and office PCs. Among its partners are Dell, HP, IBM, Iomega and Fuji. Now M-Systems has created a subsidiary called SmartCaps... to take the technology in a new direction. Marketing Director Blaine Phelps...

"Our first extension, you could say, is an MP3 player. And it's literally, take it after the name, SmartCaps. We take the cap off of the device and we turn that into something. And like we did with our device, you put an audio jack and a little LCD screen and batteries and plug in your headphones... and it turns into an MP3 player. But in the future, we're going to put a little laser pointer on the end.

A number of companies, including Creative Labs, have USB flash MP3 players on the market already. Down the road, M-Systems plans to add more new capabilities... such as its planned Projector Cap...

"And that's for a business user, sales guy. And if they go into a presentation, they have a projector, there's many USB ports on it. They plug this device in, play that PowerPoint presentation, and they no longer have to carry their laptop or they have that desktop there to show that presentation."

The USB devices already include security software to safeguard stored data. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.