USB Flash Drives
USB Flash drives have been the fastest growing data storage devices for the last 5 years. A combination of the rapid rise in the number of hardware devices with USB ports together with the increase in the capacity of the devices has been in part responsible for this growth.
USB flash drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported natively by modern operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and other Unix-like systems, as well as many BIOS boot ROMs. USB drives with USB 2.0 support can store more data and transfer faster than much larger optical disc drives like CD-RW or DVD-RW drives and can be read by many other systems such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, DVD players and in some upcoming mobile smart-phones.
Nothing moves mechanically in a flash drive; the term drive persists because computers read and write flash drive data using the same system commands as for a mechanical disk drive, with the storage appearing to the computer operating system and user interface as just another drive.
Certain USB Models are available with a 32GB capacity and the availability of this sized USB will increase steadily in the coming months.
Originally the USB Flash drive was seen simply as a very portable and robust storage device but their growing popularity, the increase in capacity and the increase in USB ports in hardware has changed this.
Within the audio sector, a growing number of record companies have released albums on USB Flash Drives. Artists including Lady Gaga, White Stripes, The Beatles, Radiohead and Madonna have all issued Special Edition albums on USB Flash Drives and the club DJ Carl Cox has recently released his latest album only on USB.
One of the leading language learning companies is currently undergoing a trial with one of their language courses being released on USB. Any data or video content that currently is released on CD or DVD can be released on a USB.
Probably the most popular corporate use of USBs until now has been for company promotional purposes. It is possible for data to be pre-loaded on to a protected area of the USB so a Company can send USBs to customers with a pre-loaded message but with the spare capacity free for the recipient to use as they wish. This makes the USB a very powerful promotional tool.
Whilst there are very popular designs of USB Flash Drives (Twister, Classic, Pod etc) there are literally hundreds of different designs available. The memory chip and USB connector sit inside a plastic (occasionally wooden) housing so as long as the size of the housing doesn’t restrict access to a laptop USB Port, the external appearance of the USB can be as a customer requires!
It is economically realistic at a volume level of approximately 250 units to design a bespoke mould so that the USB truly is unique and tailored to a Company’s marketing message.
For orders of up to 1,000 units of existing USB designs, delivery lead-times are 7-10 working days.
Bespoke moulds for the outer casing extend lead-times to 3-4 weeks.