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Floppy Stick

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There's an increasingly growing and burgeoning trend for things that plug into the USB ports of a computer, that remain sticking out of the port. Bluetooth dongles, memory sticks, wireless adaptors, cellular thingies. These all present an obvious hazard on a laptop - they stick out, and they are rigid, thus presenting a very high risk of potential damage.

Flexi-PCBs have long existed, and the USB connection is only four lines, plus shielding, so really there is no requirement for rigidity. A stick-format peripheral could easily be designed such that it sticks out but upon a glancing impact, simply bends or waves out of the way.

Two possibilities present - one, that it maintains the sticking out posture, and simply twangs back into position if something hits it or bends it (probably suited to the RF peripherals that require radio antennae to work properly, the cellular, bluetooth and wireless stuff). The other is that the peripheral could be made malleable to a certain extent so that the user plugs it in and pushes it or folds it one way or the other to tuck it out of the way to some extent, and it more or less stays that way.

All of this is possible using existing technology.

Ian Tindale, May 19 2008

USBee - Flexible USB flash drive http://diskonkey.bl...sb-flash-drive.html
Never made it to production, it seems. [baconbrain, May 19 2008]

Hinged Thumbdrive http://uk.gizmodo.c..._1gb_usb_stick.html
The electronic portion of a USB drive could fit inside its connector. The rest is fashion. [Amos Kito, May 19 2008]

Concept: Memory Infinite, by Vicky Wei http://www.yankodes...nking-rubber-bands/
[jutta, May 20 2008]

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