It's not too often these days that a product hits the market and really catches everyone off guard (in a good way, at least), but it looks like a small start-up named Infinitec has done just that. It has launched a new product with a huge tagline: the Infinite USB Memory Device. "Infinite" sounds pretty crazy to us, but the IUM is actually not a flash drive at all; instead, it's a USB
stick-styled device with a small computer within it.
Why would you need a USB stick in your PC when it can't hold anything? The IUM is actually an ad hoc streaming device, which creates a small, dedicated Wi-Fi network that enables a host machine to send files to a receiving machine over the air. In other words, the host PC will look like a giant hard drive to the receiving PC, and files can be transferred (or streamed) between the two. The IUM can also be inserted into pretty much anything else with a USB port: a printer, a Blu-ray player, a media streamer, etc. That way, the host PC can send signals over the dedicated Wi-Fi network, thus eliminating the USB cable connection between the two.
For now there's no way to stream this over the Internet (the two machines or devices must be relatively close to one another), but it definitely holds that promise if you had an Internet connection with enough speed to spare. The dongle is expected to ship this July for around $129, and we could definitely see this changing the way file sharing is accomplished. Rather than passing around a 256MB USB stick four or five times, you just install this and drag over as many files as you need. Nifty!
Example of how the IUM works