Welcome to Seagate’s “D.A.V.E.”: wireless portable storage

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Disclaimer: Seagate is the only sponsor of my ScobleShow, so, consider that I’ve been paid for telling you about Seagate stuff.

On Thursday, at the Demo Conference, Seagate will show off its new product: D. A. V. E., which stands for “Digital Audio Video Experience.” Or, maybe, a homage to Dave Winer. (I’ll be at Demo to bring you that news, and other stuff that’s being introduced there). Here’s the official press release.

What is it?

It’s a small black box. Costs less than $200. It’s thin, fits into a shirt pocket.

It has a small USB port on one side. And an on/off switch.

But, other than that, there’s no other interface on it.

This is no Apple iPhone.

But, here’s the rub. Inside is a small hard drive. 10GB or 20GB. That’s the “Seagate” part of this.

There’s also a Bluetooth and Wifi antenna.

That’s it.

“So, Scoble, that sounds really lame.”

I don’t think so — this is a new kind of wireless device that enables a whole bunch of new scenarios, particularly around cell phones, which is why I wanted Steve Jobs to see this — it’d be an awesome way to add on more music to the new Apple iPhone which I’m planning to buy in June (this comes out in May). Oh, I forgot something. There’s also a software API. They’ve already used that API to build an interface for Symbian and Windows Mobile cell phones. So, you get a new cell phone that only has 4GB of internal flash storage but you want to drag around more media? You’ll want D.A.V.E.

I can see a whole number of scenarios. Particularly for digital photographers, or people who want to carry a lot of stuff around with them in their pockets (this is far more useful to me than one of those USB memory drives, because I can keep a couple of these in my backpack and get to them via Wifi or BlueTooth (Bluetooth works up to about 30 feet from your cell phone or computer, Wifi goes even further).

Here’s the introduction video, 13 minutes, filmed at San Jose’s Tech Museum.

Other details:

Battery life? Up to 14 days of standby power, up to 10 hours of continuous use.
Size? 3.5 x 4.7 x .47 inches (61 x 89 x 12 mm) and weighing only 2.5 ounces (70 grams).

I love that it senses when it’s being dropped. Within a few centimeters of falling out of your hand it will park the hard drive’s head. Within a few more centimeters, it’ll lock them totally in preparation of a large shock.

Oh, and Gizmodo links. :-)

UPDATE: the name is sort of funny. Reminds me of that science fiction movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Hello, Dave.” But, this is a technology that’ll be built by partners of Seagates, so not sure what the final name will be when it gets onto store shelves in May or June of this year.

Also, I didn’t get a demo of the working product. They wanted to save that for the Demo conference. One of the rules of Demo is you gotta give first demo at Demo. Seagate’s slot is on Thursday morning at Demo, we’ll bring you another video when we get a look at the software and get a real demo.

104 thoughts on “Welcome to Seagate’s “D.A.V.E.”: wireless portable storage

  1. Battery life is key. I know so many AWESOME products that just suck the juice so fast that it becomes a real problem. Wireless antenna is an awesome perk. I love Seagate. Always have. Probably always will.

  2. D.A.V.E. sounds like an impressive device. The battery life is acceptable and longer than I would expect when dealing with an audio and video device. For such a small device I’m really surprised too at the inclusion of a wireless antenna, Bluetooth and USB port. Leave it up to Seagate though to come up with something like this. All of the Seagate products I’ve ever bought have never disappointed and I don’t think this one will should I ever get my hands on one.

  3. D.A.V.E. sounds like an impressive device. The battery life is acceptable and longer than I would expect when dealing with an audio and video device. For such a small device I’m really surprised too at the inclusion of a wireless antenna, Bluetooth and USB port. Leave it up to Seagate though to come up with something like this. All of the Seagate products I’ve ever bought have never disappointed and I don’t think this one will should I ever get my hands on one.

  4. I know this is a tardy reply, but I heard about this product and now that it has a very real application, that being the iPod Touch which has very limited capacity, do you know if there are still plans on bringing it out?

  5. I know this is a tardy reply, but I heard about this product and now that it has a very real application, that being the iPod Touch which has very limited capacity, do you know if there are still plans on bringing it out?

  6. Ok I might be speaking from a primitive prospective, but even though I think the IPhone is a cute idea and I ofcourse love my ipod. The combining things is a reminder of the dark age of having a combo VCR/DVD player. Ok yes you can rig the device to tape your favorite DVD scenes or whatever, but when one half of it fails you have a broken machine. Yeah you might be able to play one or the other, but it is still a broken machine. Now I am not saying I would want to seperate all of the functions of my phone, but a Phone is for talking to people. That is all.

    Now this DAVE device a think is absolutely great. Although I will make a confirmation statement on that yes you have to charge yet another device. What they seriously need to work on which would make all this better, would be a form of wireless recharging. If you could walk into your house or office and automatically be recharging all of your devices. Actually my idea from seeing this “DAVE” thing coming out is designing my house kind of like, and I stress “kind of like” ster trek.

    Now think about it you have a secure bluetooth network after ofcourse they increase the range of BT a bit. When you walk up to your front door it unlocks for you, ofcourse as soon as you press the ignition button the car starts for you. Your computer recognizes your presense and becomes active for you. You goto meetings and automatically transfer data from one “DAVE” to another. When you walk up to your computer, it automatically accepts the data and virus scans it. If you walk into a room it automatically sets the ambient temperature to the person with the highest rank in the room. You get on a bus, it tells the coin acceptor that you have bought a bus pass for the month. Go through airline security with your ticket authorization code automatically registered. You walk into a room your favorite music is already on. The list goes on man.

    The only issue is the wireless charging, what are your thoughts on that in context ofcourse to good old “DAVE” here.

    Johnathon

  7. Ok I might be speaking from a primitive prospective, but even though I think the IPhone is a cute idea and I ofcourse love my ipod. The combining things is a reminder of the dark age of having a combo VCR/DVD player. Ok yes you can rig the device to tape your favorite DVD scenes or whatever, but when one half of it fails you have a broken machine. Yeah you might be able to play one or the other, but it is still a broken machine. Now I am not saying I would want to seperate all of the functions of my phone, but a Phone is for talking to people. That is all.

    Now this DAVE device a think is absolutely great. Although I will make a confirmation statement on that yes you have to charge yet another device. What they seriously need to work on which would make all this better, would be a form of wireless recharging. If you could walk into your house or office and automatically be recharging all of your devices. Actually my idea from seeing this “DAVE” thing coming out is designing my house kind of like, and I stress “kind of like” ster trek.

    Now think about it you have a secure bluetooth network after ofcourse they increase the range of BT a bit. When you walk up to your front door it unlocks for you, ofcourse as soon as you press the ignition button the car starts for you. Your computer recognizes your presense and becomes active for you. You goto meetings and automatically transfer data from one “DAVE” to another. When you walk up to your computer, it automatically accepts the data and virus scans it. If you walk into a room it automatically sets the ambient temperature to the person with the highest rank in the room. You get on a bus, it tells the coin acceptor that you have bought a bus pass for the month. Go through airline security with your ticket authorization code automatically registered. You walk into a room your favorite music is already on. The list goes on man.

    The only issue is the wireless charging, what are your thoughts on that in context ofcourse to good old “DAVE” here.

    Johnathon

  8. I have a 3100 200GB, EX HD and if I had 31 cents for every story I didn’t pay attention to about how quickly and easily these drives fail, then I wouldn’t have to buy a power ball ticket!
    HINT: IF a chief product engineer decides to put in a music box to tell you that your external hard drive just gave up the ghost (will never function as designed ever again) You paid way too much for the stupid thing!
    If your Matrox (Seagate) has a permanent hardware meltdown, you heard me, they spent time engineering a musical tone to mock you for buying this stupid product. The 3 tone, music box, is telling you that your 3100 is beyond repair and that you lost 1000′s of hours of work. They don’t play a voice giving you a phone number to call, they play music, as if to celebrate your stroke they just caused. The three tones mock in a very familiar way to, so you know that a failure was anticipated, because the tone sounds just like the loosing tone on a video arcade game. You know, the game you just plunked 1000 quarters into, just knowing you can beat the final boss, only to find out that right at the very end, there is a software error.
    Matrox, you can have your “warranty void” seal! Seagate, you will never see another dime from me. And your customer help is as buggy and cryptic as your joke utility designed to help you “diagnose” the problem! Instead of the tones you play, you should display a fat guy shaking his chocolate stained finger at you, (like Jurasic Park) saying, “sucker!” three times, every time your angry customer plugs it in.
    I have to spend the $50.00 to recover my data. I have to spend the $20.00 for the shipping. I have to put up with all your horse crap. But I will blog that “Seagate = Crap” till my fingers fall off, you can count on it. Your customer service stinks, your product stinks, your website stinks, and the guy you hired to build these things, he stinks really bad.
    If you need an external hard drive, buy a tape drive instead.

  9. I have a 3100 200GB, EX HD and if I had 31 cents for every story I didn’t pay attention to about how quickly and easily these drives fail, then I wouldn’t have to buy a power ball ticket!
    HINT: IF a chief product engineer decides to put in a music box to tell you that your external hard drive just gave up the ghost (will never function as designed ever again) You paid way too much for the stupid thing!
    If your Matrox (Seagate) has a permanent hardware meltdown, you heard me, they spent time engineering a musical tone to mock you for buying this stupid product. The 3 tone, music box, is telling you that your 3100 is beyond repair and that you lost 1000′s of hours of work. They don’t play a voice giving you a phone number to call, they play music, as if to celebrate your stroke they just caused. The three tones mock in a very familiar way to, so you know that a failure was anticipated, because the tone sounds just like the loosing tone on a video arcade game. You know, the game you just plunked 1000 quarters into, just knowing you can beat the final boss, only to find out that right at the very end, there is a software error.
    Matrox, you can have your “warranty void” seal! Seagate, you will never see another dime from me. And your customer help is as buggy and cryptic as your joke utility designed to help you “diagnose” the problem! Instead of the tones you play, you should display a fat guy shaking his chocolate stained finger at you, (like Jurasic Park) saying, “sucker!” three times, every time your angry customer plugs it in.
    I have to spend the $50.00 to recover my data. I have to spend the $20.00 for the shipping. I have to put up with all your horse crap. But I will blog that “Seagate = Crap” till my fingers fall off, you can count on it. Your customer service stinks, your product stinks, your website stinks, and the guy you hired to build these things, he stinks really bad.
    If you need an external hard drive, buy a tape drive instead.

  10. This thing would be great n my Motorola Q. IT only has 64mb built in, and right now, I have only a 256 mb mini sd. This thing would enable me to watch endless videos in TCPMP.

  11. This thing would be great n my Motorola Q. IT only has 64mb built in, and right now, I have only a 256 mb mini sd. This thing would enable me to watch endless videos in TCPMP.

  12. 20GB DAVE versus 16GB Flash which requires no battery and doesn’t need any g-sensors????

    Anyway, did Seagate just copy this from a Singapore startup? Last year at CeBIT, a tiny Singapore outfit launched Widrive, which has built-in WiFi. It connects to Nikon wifi cam, laptops, PDA, etc. Last I heard, they even have P2P to grab content.

  13. 20GB DAVE versus 16GB Flash which requires no battery and doesn’t need any g-sensors????

    Anyway, did Seagate just copy this from a Singapore startup? Last year at CeBIT, a tiny Singapore outfit launched Widrive, which has built-in WiFi. It connects to Nikon wifi cam, laptops, PDA, etc. Last I heard, they even have P2P to grab content.

  14. Ditto to Adi’s comment. I too use a Dell Axim when I travel (and can get away with no laptop). It does my Skype, E-mail, Movies, Music, and most important (basic) photo editing. I’d love to have a little gizmo like this to backup my pic’s to. There are other photo gadgets to do this, but they’re big bucks. I can think of lots of uses outside of an iPod/iPhone accessory.

    The only downside is if it needed to be recharged while on the road. But, I’m sure that I can find someone with a USB port that I can “rent’ for awhile. :-)

  15. Ditto to Adi’s comment. I too use a Dell Axim when I travel (and can get away with no laptop). It does my Skype, E-mail, Movies, Music, and most important (basic) photo editing. I’d love to have a little gizmo like this to backup my pic’s to. There are other photo gadgets to do this, but they’re big bucks. I can think of lots of uses outside of an iPod/iPhone accessory.

    The only downside is if it needed to be recharged while on the road. But, I’m sure that I can find someone with a USB port that I can “rent’ for awhile. :-)

  16. I envisioned and actually was begging for this device for many months now. My primary usage scenario would be to pair it with my Dell axim x51v pocketPC, making it into multimedia powerhouse. This is awesome, and I also wonder whether they will license this low-power tiny-size technology for embedding into pocketPC, mobile phones and even tiny size tablet PCs.

  17. I envisioned and actually was begging for this device for many months now. My primary usage scenario would be to pair it with my Dell axim x51v pocketPC, making it into multimedia powerhouse. This is awesome, and I also wonder whether they will license this low-power tiny-size technology for embedding into pocketPC, mobile phones and even tiny size tablet PCs.

  18. Jason: my cell phone is in use a lot more than my laptop is. When I’m walking through an airport, I’m using my cell phone. Or when I’m exercising, I’m using my iPod. Now that those two devices are converging, it’ll be nice to have extra storage that can be shared among multiple devices. Also, if I want to transfer a big video file from one computer to the next, the DAVE would be awesome.

  19. Jason: my cell phone is in use a lot more than my laptop is. When I’m walking through an airport, I’m using my cell phone. Or when I’m exercising, I’m using my iPod. Now that those two devices are converging, it’ll be nice to have extra storage that can be shared among multiple devices. Also, if I want to transfer a big video file from one computer to the next, the DAVE would be awesome.

  20. I just got a Nokia N800 and have used Bluetooth to transfer files to/from an Apple computer. Sounds like this would be a good way to take a music (or photo) collection as the N800 will only take 4G worth of SD cards (or maybe 8G, if the newer cards will work). My camera supports Bluetooth too, so for some types of travel I’m past needing a laptop.

  21. I just got a Nokia N800 and have used Bluetooth to transfer files to/from an Apple computer. Sounds like this would be a good way to take a music (or photo) collection as the N800 will only take 4G worth of SD cards (or maybe 8G, if the newer cards will work). My camera supports Bluetooth too, so for some types of travel I’m past needing a laptop.

  22. Scoble,

    If you plan on keeping the D.A.V.E.’s in your backpack next to your laptop then what exactly is the point of that if you have your laptop anyway? I guess it gives you a slight increase in convenience in being able to connect to the D.A.V.E.’s wirelessly but is that worth the ~$400 for the two devices?

    Personally for me the best use for mobile storage like that is so I don’t have to lug my laptop around to store my digital photos when on holidays and my 60GB iPod with the camera connection kit serves that purpose perfectly.

  23. Scoble,

    If you plan on keeping the D.A.V.E.’s in your backpack next to your laptop then what exactly is the point of that if you have your laptop anyway? I guess it gives you a slight increase in convenience in being able to connect to the D.A.V.E.’s wirelessly but is that worth the ~$400 for the two devices?

    Personally for me the best use for mobile storage like that is so I don’t have to lug my laptop around to store my digital photos when on holidays and my 60GB iPod with the camera connection kit serves that purpose perfectly.

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  25. Dude, you’d be surprised at how expensive high-end smartphones are pre-rebate. Hell, my 6601 is almost as expensive as a high-end smartphone pre-rebate.

    (Rebates==”We think our customers are really stupid, and we’re going to be blatant about it”)

    But so what…it should be able to handle getting dropped once in a while. It’s a phone after all.

  26. Dude, you’d be surprised at how expensive high-end smartphones are pre-rebate. Hell, my 6601 is almost as expensive as a high-end smartphone pre-rebate.

    (Rebates==”We think our customers are really stupid, and we’re going to be blatant about it”)

    But so what…it should be able to handle getting dropped once in a while. It’s a phone after all.

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