You know, now that we really sit back and think about it, USB flash drives have been around for ages. Somehow, these minuscule storage devices have survived (and even thrived) for years while chip technologies have arrived and vanished, optical media formats have been born and buried and DRAM prices have precipitously fallen.
Now, rather than facing imminent irrelevance, USB drives are simply innovating in order to please the next generation of users. On the same day that we heard that Kaiser Permanente
was offering medical records on these handy storage sticks, in flies word that Ennova Direct is also looking to up the ante in the field. In fact, the company has just patented a biometric USB flash drive with an interactive OLED display and retractable USB connector.
The device which was granted a patent by the USPTO has a new type of retractable USB connector with a built-in cover that protects the flash drive's OLED screen, and the OLED display itself comprises an integrated biometric fingerprint scanner which changes color to indicate the success or failure of a match of the user's stored fingerprint. Better still, the screen doubles as an interactive interface that allows the user to select specific files and initiate specific functions.
Peter Garrett, Executive VP of Ennova Direct, made a good point in relation to where USB drives have gone and where they're
heavily used in today's computing world: "With USB flash drive memory capacities now reaching 64GB and higher, user's are now utilizing their USB flash drives as full external backup drives, making it even more important for users to secure the large amounts of personal data they are storing on their USB flash drives. To that end, we incorporated a biometric fingerprint scanner function into the design of our new Patented Retractable USB flash drive, while keeping with the popular theme of our signature retractable USB connector. We paid special attention to the design of the retractable USB connector, adding an integrated cover that when closed protects the USB connector and OLED screen-biometric fingerprint scanner at the same time.
If all goes well, Ennova Direct expects to launch their new patented retractable biometric USB flash drive under their ION Technologies brand in the first quarter of 2010.