Apple isnit the only one embracing the concept of the digital hub. Imation made several announcements during this weekis show that demonstrate this concept is not a flash in the pan, but one that we will be seeing more and more of. We caught up with Imation on the show floor to get a first hand look.
First, thereis an issue of how to move data among all of your devices. Unfortunately, there are several major types of storage media, such as Compact Flash (Type I and II), Smart Media, Multimedia Card, Secure Digital, Memory Stick, and IBMis Microdrive, with none being compatible with the other. At the last Macworld, Imation announced their FlashGO! adapter, a USB device which can read any one of these formats. At this Macworld, they announced their FlashGO! Desktop, a USB device which has 4 receptacles which can accept all of the aforementioned media types, and allow you to read from, write to, or exchange data between media types. The reader will be available in the first half of 2002.
Next is the RipGO!, a mini 4X CD-R recorder and music player which some may consider a competitor to Appleis iPod. The device uses 80mm CD-R discs, which can hold either 185MB of data, or 3 hours of MP3 music files. It is available now for the PC, and will shortly be compatible with the Mac upon completion of final software testing. This looks to be a compelling device, since it can be used either for data storage, or a music player.
Finally, we received a progress report on Imationis DataPlay media, which we first saw at last yearis Macworld San Francisco (see our full report on DataPlay from MACWORLD SF 2001 for more information and images of this cool media type). For the uninitiated, DataPlay is a write-once optical media which can hold 500MB of data, but is only the size of a quarter. The anticipated uses of this media are for the storage of music, pictures, or regular data. Products that can use this media should be available by the first half of 2002.