Credit card-size hard drive can hold 5 GB

Take a look at one of those credit cards in your wallet. That's the exact size and thickness of an upcoming, revolutionary removable storage device called StorCard.

Created by StorCard Inc., StorCard can contain from 100MB to more than 5GB of data on a plastic card. At first glance, it looks like a credit card, and even has a magnetic strip like a credit card, for potential use in standard credit card readers.

The hard disk data, however, is accessed on a tiny spinning disk inside the thin card.

"The card actually has moveable parts inside its thin shell," says Bill Heil, vice president of StorCard.

A spinning wheel made of Mylar is engaged when the card is inserted into a StorReader, a USB-connected drive or PC Card that reads and writes to the StorCard. The reader is expected to retail for under US$100 and the cards for under $15 each, Heil says.

Deal in the Works

The StorCard and StorReader are scheduled to become available in the second half of 2003. The company is talking with media producers, and a partnership announcement with a widely recognized producer of blank media is expected in the next month, Heil says.

Within the card is an on-board processor containing integrated software controls that can encrypt data securely in real time.

"The combination of high capacity [and] an inexpensive price point makes StorCard a viable solution for consumers and businesses alike," Heil says. Also, the card--like a credit card--is extremely flexible, without risking damage to the data it contains, he says.

StorCard promises the tiny hard drive will provide high performance to quickly handle large amounts of data. It will support a volume sufficient to stream media files, for example, according to Heil. As a result, the StorCard could store even material that previously would fit only on a DVD.

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