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11/30/2010
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Infinitec Unveils Infinite USB Memory Drive

Dual Wi-Fi device streams files while letting a user maintain a connection to the Internet.

Infinitec Infinite USB Memory Drive
(click image for larger view)
Infinitec Infinite USB Memory Drive

Infinitec has unveiled a USB memory drive that it is touting as a dual Wi-Fi device, which streams a file while at the same time letting a user maintain a connection to the Internet.

The Infinite USB Memory (IUM) drive transfers files to any device that supports a USB port or flash drive, including computers, laptops, netbooks, DVD players, and gaming consoles on a Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n network. Rather than storing the data like traditional hard drives do, the Infinite USB Memory drive continuously streams it to other devices once the Infinite Portal software is installed on the host device. It is compatible with any operating system.

"While you are using the IUM, Internet access is maintained on the host PC as all traffic is routed to the IUM and then to your Internet access point,'' David McKern, chief marketing officer at Dubai-based Infinitec, explained in a recent company blog. "Dual-Wi-Fi can be enabled or disabled based on your need."

Early reviews of the product have been mixed. The device's software is "unbelievably convoluted, unresponsive, and buggy for a product that's not clearly labeled 'beta,'" noted Engadget. The install process is supposed to be automated, but has "several critical failure points," the website said.

In terms of performance, the IUM "performs extremely well with a transfer speed of 6MB/second when the paring devices are placed near to each other at a distance of three to four feet," according to the website Money Times. But its review also found that the IUM sometimes disconnects in the middle of streaming.

Engadget found it "mildly impressive" what the device can do, but echoed Money Times' finding that the same transfer speed was achieved only when the host laptop was placed right next to it. Transfer speeds were reduced by half when the laptop was moved three feet away, Engadget said.

At the time the bright red device was first announced last June, McKern said in a statement that it had been redesigned to make sure "it's small enough to fit in your pocket without inconveniencing you and that you can connect it into tight USB locations such as the Xbox 360's USB port design, which is very small."

The IUM is available for $129 on Infinitec's website.

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