Wireless storage specialist Seagate Technology announced the launch of the Wireless, a 500GB portable wireless drive designed for streaming and offloading of media from mobile devices and the new Seven drive, with the name representing the 7mm depth of the 500GB drive.
With the Wireless, storage is accessed through the free mobile Seagate Media app for Apple iOS, Android, Kindle Fire HD, and Windows 8 tablets.
Mobile devices connect to Wireless over a WiFi connection, which the battery-powered drive emits once powered on.
"Mobile devices by their very nature are limited in storage capacity. The use of a product like Wireless or Backup Plus Slim with the mobile backup app, allows consumers to move photos and videos off of the capture device and on to a higher capacity storage device," Bruno Masson, director of retail revenue planning, told eWeek. "Additionally, Wireless is a great way to carry content that may not need to reside on a tablet or smartphone, while still having access to that content."
Users connect to the drive by searching for Seagate Wireless in available WiFi networks from any device and the drive emits its own WiFi signal, eliminating the need to be within range of an existing network connection.
Wireless, which provides the capability to share the contents of the drive with streams for up to three connected devices simultaneously, comes with a variety of color options, including lime green, cool blue, slate grey, fire-engine red and white.
Wireless can be used to access video, photos, music and documents on the big screen through Apple Airplay, Google Chromecast, or an app designed specifically for Samsung and LG Smart TVs and Roku players.
Wireless will be available from Amazon, Best Buy and Seagate.com by early February for a suggested price of $129.99, while the media app is currently available for free from a selection of app stores.
The Seagate Seven enclosure is made entirely of steel, with a deep draw process that allows for the all steel enclosure to be shaped in a method that the company said means the material could not be any thinner and still hold the structural integrity needed to perform as an external portable storage device.
"This device is being pitched towards consumers that want the most advanced technology devices," Seagate’s Kathay Wang told eWeek. "Seagate also wanted to make ensure that we included an element of high-design, because these customers care about that aspect as well. Seagate Seven is the result of over 35 years of storage technology and would not have been possible with out the advancements in areal density."
In addition, the low profile motor technologies used in the bare drive are designed to include extreme Gyro handling capabilities with tablets and thin computing in mind.
The hard drive will be widely available in mid to late January for a suggested retail price of $99.99, and as of launch, pre-orders can be made on the company’s website and Amazon.
"The all steel enclosure is important for a few reasons. We studied a range of different materials, and in the end, steel was the only material that allowed us to get to 7MM thin and keep all of our standards for durability, shock testing, and so on," Wang said. "Seagate also did not want to sacrifice anything in regards to quality or the overall consumer experience, the steel allowed us to have this premium and super thin feel in the hand, while making it durable enough for everyday use."