Dec 17 2008 · Hardware
As hinted in my previous post I’m working on some bluetooth stuff. Specifically, I’m working with the OBEX-based File Transfer Profile. I’ve been utilizing my cell phone for all testing and cell phones are the likely target for this functionality in the product I’m working on (more on that in a later post). Having played around the the technology for a few months and written a library for file I/O on top of Windows’ sockets functionality, I have a fairly positive impression of the technology. As with all wireless tech, it’s great not having to deal with cables (especially vendor-specific ones), but more-so it provides a nice bedrock for device-to-device communication, which is something that’s not quite trivial with Wi-Fi.
With my love of bluetooth, it’s become quite perplexing to see such a dearth of devices that actually support it. I’m not referring to cell phones or headsets for cell phones, but other devices such as digital cameras. It could be argued that communication over bluetooth is slower than a USB cable; this is true, but bluetooth v2.0 has a respectable 2.1Mbit/s (respectable in the sense that most people have about the same throughput with a low-end broadband connection), and it’s certainly cheap enough to have a bluetooth adapter in addition to a USB port on a device for instances where convenience takes precedence over transfer speed.
In searching for any bluetooth devices out there other than cell phone and headsets, I came across Seagate’s DAVE; a battery powered external hard drive, supporting bluetooth, wi-fi, and usb connections. Now this seemed like a really cool idea, a completely wireless, external hard drive, in a beautifully small form-factor. The first mention of DAVE seems to be at San Jose’s Tech Museum in Jan. 2007, coming in 10gb or 20gb flavors. The next mention of DAVE seems to come over a year later, in Jan. 2008 at Digital Life, with DAVE now 60gb in size and the unfortunate mention that Seagate does not plan to sell the device directly, but instead sell it to smartphone manufacturers to rebrand and resell (and quite certainly limit compatibility to only their product lines) to users.
Unfortunately, 12 months later, and there’s no sight of DAVE from Seagate or a rebranded DAVE from any smartphone vendors. No Seagate product page exists on DAVE and this cool little hard drive seems to have disappeared from existence.
As for similar devices, I found an old announcement for the Toshiba Pocket Server which seems to have never seen the light of day. There was also the BluOnyx which was shown in early 2007, then a corporate merger (Agere – LSI), then new signs of life, but alas this seems to be another cool product that won’t make its way to market.