Microdrives, with their gigabytes of capacity, have the potential to revolutionize handheld storage. However, until now, they have had a serious drawback: as they have a spinning disk inside them they are much more fragile than flash memory.
Fortunately, Cornice is close to releasing a microdrive that is much more rugged than previous models, according to CNET News.com.
When not in use, Cornice’s upcoming microdrive will lock its read/write arm into place, preventing it from hitting the disk if dropped.
Even in use, this device can survive a drop of 5 feet, which would break competitors’ products.
Cornice’s next microdrive will have a capacity of of 3 GB, while other companies are putting out much larger ones. Cornice has decided to compete on durability and price, rather than making the highest-capacity cards.
Cornice doesn’t offer its products directly to consumers. Instead, this rugged microdrive will be built into other company’s products starting in 2005.
A Bright Future
Microdrives are being used in an increasing number of products, and more companies are starting to make them.
Sharp is offering a Zaurus with a 4 GB mini hard drive, and Samsung is offering a smartphone with a 1.5 GB microdrive in South Korea.
Of course, there are quite a few MP3 players with microdrives, like Apple’s iPod.
Several companies make microdrives already, and, according to CNET News.com, Toshiba will join their ranks in the near future.