Seagate introduced their new product called "DAVE," which standards for "Digital Audio Video Experience" to Robert Scoble and Scoble has a video of the introduction on his blog. What is DAVE? According to the post and the video, DAVE is a 10GB-20GB hard drive with bluetooth, wifi, and USB capabilities and no screen -- essentially Seagate once you to use this as a storage extension for a mobile device be it a cellphone, smartphone, etc. Furthermore, DAVE units can interact/communicate with each other, meaning that you have storage devices that can interact (read "peer") directly assuming that you allow that peering to occur through your cellphone interface. Scoble reports that the device should be less than $200.
I have a few observations:
- The device is using a hard drive with drop protection features rather than solid state memory While I assume that's what helps keep the cost in the sub-$200 range, one more device to cart around with a traditional hard drive makes me nervous about storage reliability.
- 802.11n support. There's not mention what wifi protocols the box will support, but there is not specific mention that it will support 802.11n. Once again, I'm sure this helps keep the product retail cost down, but if I had one of these, I would want to be able to connect to it using the fastest wifi connection possible.
- Battery endurance. If this device is going to be the media storage hub for my mobile lifestyle, it needs to last at least as long as my cellphone battery. Traditionally using wifi and/or bluetooth on a phone tends to drain the battery with extraordinary rapidity, so it is not unreasonable to assume that using those connection methods on DAVE would result in the same battery issues.
- Phone interface. Hopefully this is developed in some sort of universal language (i.e., J2ME) that makes it work on most phones regardless of the OS -- one of my big complaints about phone-based applications is when they only work on certain phones with certain OS versions.
Overall the big win for this device will be what application programmers come up with to use it for. The device does have an application processor inside it and an available API, so to some degree it's all about whatever a programmer can think of to do with a net-connectable/phone-connectable hard drive.
At this point I wouldn't rush out to buy one, but there's quite a bit of time for cool stuff to come out between now and when the product luanches that might sway my decision.
Here's the video: