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Flash Drive with Display

a USB flash drive that can display file information.
  (+13, -6)
(+13, -6)
  [vote for,

A flash drive with a small built-in PHOLED (PHosphorescent Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display screen with a couple of small buttons for scrolling up or down etc. and a small built-in rechargeable battery that charges when it is plugged into a USB port; so that you can view what files are on the flash drive without having access to a computer.

Depending on the size of the screen (and battery), it could be made to show the name of a file (including the extension), the size of a file, possibly the mini icon for the file type (if it has a full color display), and maybe some other information like date modified, pixel dimensions if it is a picture, etc.

BJS, Jun 12 2006

(??) Concept Picture http://img1.putfile...in/1/2517232133.jpg
I made this picture almost two months after I posted the idea, but I didn't have a way to put it on the internet at the time. I added the text today. [BJS, Jun 12 2006, last modified Jan 26 2007]

PHOLED http://www.universa...play.com/pholed.htm
[BJS, Jun 13 2006]

iPod shuffle, which doesn't even have a display http://www.apple.co...dshuffle/specs.html
[BJS, Jun 16 2006]

iPod nano, which is about twice the size I intend this to be http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/specs.html
and it has a much less efficient LCD screen. [BJS, Jun 16 2006]

It would look similar to the smaller section of this MP3 player http://upload.wikim.../CreativeMuVoTX.jpg
but smaller, with a different screen. [BJS, Jan 26 2007]

Halfway there http://www.mydidigo...ia_2detail.asp?C3=9
[Veho, Jan 27 2007]

USB flash drive w/display http://www.engadget...-drives-to-4gb-8gb/
Display [TIB, Jan 27 2007]

Hitch iPod2iPod USB Transfer Device http://www.thinkgee...ectronics/mp3/8604/
The Hitch also works great to transfer files between any two random USB mass storage devices you may have lying around. Go from digital camera to iPod... or USB thumbdrive to external hard drive. The possibilities are endless. [BJS, Sep 24 2007]


       I'd love this for CDs and DVDs too, once displays are thin enough. Being able to see the stuff on the media itself is intuitive and, well, nice.
neilp, Jun 13 2006

       [BJS], you say it would look similar to an MP3 player, but wouldn't it be exactly the same as an MP3 player? in other words, what can this flash drive do that an MP3 player can't?
xaviergisz, Jun 13 2006

       It can display files other than music files, and it won't have all the extra bulky stuff for playing music like a bigger battery to power the headphones or the extra buttons.
BJS, Jun 13 2006

       how about just a small usb enabled lcd that would allow you to scroll through the file architecture on the drive? could be used with existing drives, and wouldn't increase the individual cost.
tcarson, Jun 13 2006

       That will work for now, but I was thinking of the not so distant future when more efficient and smaller displays will become more available.
BJS, Jun 13 2006

       You'd need some sort of security measure in place, like a way to enter a code or password to view the files, if they are encrypted or otherwise marked private; if the user doesn't have the password, then show "password required" on the display. Otherwise a good idea, I suppose.
Size_Mick, Jun 13 2006

       I don't think that would really be necessary in most cases, since no one else should be handling it without your supervision.
BJS, Jun 13 2006

       Can nanos dispay any file type?   

       nanos do not have LED screens, they have LCD screens, and I believe they require a separate cable to plug them into a computer. My flash drive is much smaller than a nano, and I intend this flash drive to be about the same size as current flash drives.
BJS, Jun 14 2006

       I can see some usefulness to having a small 'electronic paper' screen on a USB drive that could be used for labeling. Allowing any sort of interaction with the display without a computer hooked up would necessitate including non-trivial-sized batteries.
supercat, Jun 14 2006

       why did you post that on here? you should have appliede for a apetent as soon as you thought of it. +
lolzcakes, Jun 15 2006

       okay, I forgive you. But do you really have a flash drive the size of a pin head?
BJS, Jun 15 2006

       Those new tiny ipods are the same size as a flash drive, with a little wheel and display. Is this the same thing?
bungston, Jun 15 2006

       No, it's not the same as a nano or a shuffle (shuffles don't even have a screen, which is the whole point of my idea). nanos are 3.5" tall by 1.6" wide by .27" thick, and shuffles are 3.3" long by 0.98" wide by 0.33" thick, and shuffles still don't have displays. I have a flash drive (which happens to be 1GB) that is 2.75" long by 0.75" wide by 0.27" thick. I plan this flash drive with display to be as small as possible.
BJS, Jun 16 2006

       Lexar has a flashdrive with an E-Ink(R) display. At present the display just shows capacity, but something more informative may appear in fugure.
supercat, Jun 16 2006

       BUN! This is great because if you are like me and have a pile of discs and memory cards all over your desk, its good to know whats on it without having to stick it into the PC or some other device and wait for it to read. Back around 1998 or '99 we had one of those dinosaur optical SCSI drives at the office that was external giving us the freedom of moving it from one PC to another. It had a display on the top of it that told you exactly what files were on it without having to tie it into a PC. This was very handy because it eliminated the hassle of having to set the dip switches, finding the right cables, and plugging in a working terminator.
Jscotty, Jan 26 2007

       Bun. But beware the cell phone black hole which consumes ideas like this with a vengence.
molecat, Jan 27 2007

       [+] Bun to your idea, it would be a great feature on any flash storage device. See ["halfway there" link] for a similar product; these are only capable of displaying the remaining free space on the drive, and a custom label, so you have a reminder of what the drive might be holding. With this already available, a file browsing flash drive is not far away. I'd say your idea is a very doable, marketable one, and not merely half-baked. More like 99% baked, and all it needs is the powdered sugar frosting (to extend the metaphor a bit). Now hurry up and start mass production. I would buy one. (Without the sugar frosting, please).
Veho, Jan 27 2007

       see linky
TIB, Jan 27 2007

       [TIB], that USB drive doesn't do what [BJS] suggested, as I explained in my previous anno. I don't mind you not reading my anno, but you obviously didn't read his entire idea either.
Veho, Jan 27 2007

       hey [Veho]. i read it all / understood it all, thanks mate. just added the link for those who may have been interested in seeing another example of what you'd mentioned.   

       well, since you've made me open my eyes more than halfway, i guess i'll write my usual twist on the original idea, idea:   

       what i've wanted to see in a usb thumb drive, for as long as i've known about OLEDs, is a drive that IS the display. no separate screen, just a glossy black body that comes to life when moved or powered. stats, file names, or whatever could be displayed on its 'skin', and it could put on a freaky squid-in-mating-season light show when in use. could also be themed, for example, to look like a test tube filling up with water, a star field, a feed from your webcam, tormented spirits flying about it - trapped within their folded 2-d confines, a flickering candle, whatever...   

       there, you made me say it, so now nobody can ever get a patent so it'll never be done -_-
TIB, Jan 28 2007

       //hey [Veho]. i read it all / understood it all, thanks mate. just added the link for those who may have been interested in seeing another example of what you'd mentioned//   

       I appologise if my anno seemed a bit harsh (bit of an understatement there), I didn't mean it to sound scolding. I found several similar flash drives too, but it seemed to me that one link was enough for people to see what's out already, and how feasible [BJS's] idea is. And your first anno didn't really clarify your intent, so I assumed the worst. And my foul mood at the moment did nothing to soften the tone of my reaction. Sorry.
Veho, Jan 29 2007

       aww shucks [Veho], it was nothing - i should really have written a little more than i did. my bad.   

       +bun for your idea that can't come soon enough [BJS]. i literally have a dozen of these thumb-drives with no idea what's on half of them... but i wanna know NOW, with nothing more than a glance :)
TIB, Jan 30 2007

       If you add just a bit more logic and wring, you will end up with a PDA/Telephone/Camera, that can also navigate by GPS and will play and record MP3. Finally you can easily load linux on it and use it as a web server.   

anzlovar, Sep 25 2007

       Yes, all that could be added, but I want it to still remain small.
BJS, Sep 25 2007

       I have had MP3 players that list files contained they can't use.
ironfroggy, Sep 28 2007


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