SAN FRANCISCO--The Universal Serial Bus (USB) emerged as an industry standard in the mid-1990s, to standardize the connection of computer peripherals to the PC, performing a plethora of functions from serving as a storage device, to a power supply and a communication interface.
The port has since become ubiquitous on almost every consumer electronic device, from smartphones to PCs, TVs to game consoles, disk drives to tablets, cameras and much more besides.
Around two billion USB devices are sold every year according to the USB Implementers Forum, and with each subsequent generation of the standard improving transmission speeds significantly, the USB could even be called the most successful interface in the history of personal computing thus far.
Personal computing, however, as the name suggests, is an intensely personal thing, and thus USB too has adapted itself to appeal to consumer whims and preferences.
The following list takes a look at some of the more innovative, original and flamboyant USBs and USB peripherals, ranging from the secure and practical right through to the gimmicky and flamboyant.
I'm surprised that at least some level of security isn't present on all flash drives. The Cryptek is pretty spendy. Certainly it appears to deliver serious security, but at a cost that puts it out of the market for most people. Lighter weight encryption would do for the majority of people that just need to be safe from the accidental loss of a driver rather than from a targeted theft.
Talk about an 'in your face poof!'...
PS: it is quite easy to implement a squib that pops a small explosive-laden capsule in the USB. I have used something like that for activating an electrically-fired spinning mass gyroscope.
The best innovation that I could think of for a USB device is faster data transfers and instant load/unload. I would really like to see a device that you could plug in pull data off and then unplug without needing to tell it to disconnect. I am sure that the causes are valid but still, wouldn't be really innovative to speed up the whole process?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.