Seagate Technology is accepting pre-orders for a new Wi-Fi-enabled portable storage device that wirelessly streams content to devices running Apple's iOS. Called GoFlex Satellite, the new 500GB external hard drive uses the Wi-Fi capabilities of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to stream content.
The goal is to let consumers carry an entire library of video, music, pictures and documents anywhere. According to Seagate Vice President Patrick Connolly, the portable drive is an elegant solution for iOS devices hampered by limited storage.
"The unfortunate fact is that these popular new mobile devices are hampered by their limited storage capacity while one of their primary functions is that of media consumption," Connolly said. "With GoFlex Satellite, people will be able to carry their entire media library with them without the need for wires or the web -- [and] at a fraction of the cost of adding 3G or purchasing a higher-capacity tablet."
Seamless Multimedia Streaming
Though iOS users can store multimedia materials in the cloud, Seagate pointed out that Internet-based streaming has drawbacks. For example, online video streaming may suffer from choppiness or pixilation in congested metropolitan environments such as New York City or San Francisco where the intense demand for wireless broadband constrains availability.
By contrast, GoFlex Satellite is designed to serve up a seamless connection to content for up to three devices simultaneously over Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n). So consumers need no longer "feel as though it is a compromise to purchase a lower-capacity tablet or iPad," Connolly observed.
To initiate a wireless connection, the user powers up the GoFlex Satellite and sets Wi-Fi on the iOS device to the GoFlex, explained Seagate Senior Marketing Manager Mark Wojtasiak.
"Open up the Safari browser and type in any URL; the device will automatically connect to the GoFlex Satellite and display the GoFlex Satellite browser interface," Wojtasiak wrote in a blog. "Tap any media to begin streaming to your iPhone or iPad."
One Wi-Fi Connection at A Time
Seagate spokesperson Nathan Papadopulos noted that iOS devices only offer access to a single Wi-Fi network at a time. So whenever iOS users connect to the GoFlex, "they would not be online" over the same Wi-Fi connection, he explained in an e-mail Monday.
Still, users of iOS devices integrating both 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities will be able to multitask by streaming video from the drive over Wi-Fi while simultaneously accessing Internet content over their wireless carrier's network. "3G would be the only option if the Wi-Fi signal is connected to the drive," Papadopulos said.
Priced at $199, the new Seagate drive is available for pre-order from the online stores of Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Seagate, and will debut in Best Buy's brick-and-mortar stores in July. A free GoFlex Media app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store, with an app for Google's Android platform expected this summer.
GoFlex Satellite is equipped with a lithium battery capable of delivering up to five hours of continuous streaming video from a single change. The GoFlex Media app also integrates a progressive download feature that temporarily offloads video files onto the iOS device to enable the drive to conserve battery life by automatically switching to standby mode while the user is viewing the content.
Posted: 2011-05-16 @ 2:11pm PT
I like this better than uploading data in an online data storage service. It seems a lot safer and makes me feel like the user has more control over their data.