Seagate is to launch an external hard drive designed to extend the limited storage capacity of tablets and smartphones.
The 500GB GoFlex Satellite can transfer and stream content to any device with a browser and Wi-Fi connectivity by creating its own personal Wi-Fi hotspot with a range of 150 feet.
USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports are included for faster file transfers, and Seagate plans to incorporate Apple's Thunderbolt connectivity by the end of the summer.
The device is powered by a Lithium-ion battery and gives up to five hours of continuous streaming and up to 25 hours on standby, according to Seagate.
Business uses include sharing presentations and documents with colleagues without the need to email or use USB drives, explained Greg Falgiano, senior product marketing manager at Seagate, at a press briefing in central London.
However, a possible downside could be security. The Wi-Fi hotspot can be protected using WPA security, but files are not encrypted which is likely to deter business users from storing confidential information on the drive.
The device may be better for storing multimedia content. From launch, Apple iPad and iPhone users will be able to download the dedicated GoFlex Media app and drag and drop content from iTunes or use the Media Sync software to automatically scan for files.
Seagate aims to release a dedicated Android tablet and smartphone app within eight weeks.
Storage capacity is the top feature for customers purchasing a tablet device, and the GoFlex Satellite effectively offers the convenience of a whole laptop without compromising portability, Falgiano explained.
"The GoFlex Satellite is aimed at users who have a content library that exceeds the size of their tablet device," he said. "If you're going to go through the hassle of bringing another device with you, bring everything."
Falgiano also touted the GoFlex Satellite's speed, claiming that it has enough bandwidth to stream three HD movies to three devices simultaneously.
The drive has a second Wi-Fi antennae which will be activated in the coming months to provide additional capabilities such as Digital Living Network Alliance and possibly AirPlay connectivity, he added.
The GoFlex Satellite is due in Europe in August, and is expected to cost £179.
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