Storage's new rule of thumb

Storage's new rule of thumb

Newly established distribution company AGA Technologies has released a hot-swappable data storage module for the business and education market.

Touted as the world's smallest storage device, the Trek ThumbDrive has a portable USB memory that does not require software or a power connection and can store from 8MB to 256MB. AGA Technologies is looking for resellers for the drive, which will be a key product in the distributor's entry into the Australian market.

"We are a very new company," said AGA Technologies director, Gerald Koh. "At this stage we distribute MP3 players and smart media cards, but there is nothing like the ThumbDrive out there. The product is the most user-friendly on the market, and there is no complex set-up or downloads. I can carry my files with me as I go along and plug the drive into a USB connection to retrieve the data.

"The beauty of all this is there is no power supply, which is essential for most other devices on the market."

AGA will soon launch a USB device capable of storing up to 10GB of data that fits the palm of the hand. The ThumbDrive is available now and retails for around $280 for the 32MB version and $1550 for the 256MB capacity product. Koh said that while the device may seem expensive compared to other storage products, it's target market - the corporate notebook market - was willing to take up the technology.

"The key is data mobility rather than a backup device," Koh said. "Instead of lugging everything back home, you just download the information from the device.

It is a niche market product and its price reflects the price fluctuations of memory. It uses the same components as Sony's PlayStation 2, so there is a huge demand."

The device recently won the Best product award at the Interact IT 2000 exhibition in Melbourne.

AGA is also looking at the ThumbDrive's application in the education market. "Nowadays many private school students carry a notebook to school. Now they have the medium to store their files and carry them as homework."

Koh founded the WA-based distributor earlier this year with two partners. He previously worked for companies such as NEC and ticketing company ERG. He said while the WA market itself was quite small, its geographic location made it an effective link between the Australian and Asian markets.

"The WA market is slow, because there are only about one million people, whereas in Sydney and Melbourne you are looking at four times that. But it has its advantages, because it is in the same time zone as Asia so buying and selling is quite easy."

Trek is also working on an encryption model of theThumbDrive, for better data protection.

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