25th December 2007, 07:59 PM
Suzuki Technology Sumo-Drive WiFi storage device
It may be the smallest, but it sure stores a lot
By Hedirman Supian, TODAY | Posted: 21 December 2007 1208 hrs
SINGAPORE: Homegrown company Suzuki Technology has launched what it claims to be the world's smallest WiFi storage device.
The Sumo-Drive is a wireless external storage drive that can serve as a mobile Web server. It weighs 230g and measures 4.37 inches (111mm) in height, 3.07 inches in width and 0.90 inches in depth — nearly half the size of a paperback book.
The built-in server technology was developed by researchers from A*Star's Data Storage Institute. They invented a portable device that combined storage and wireless technologies and later spun off a company called EDS Labs to commercialise the device and further its development. Suzuki Technology licensed the technology from EDS Labs in August this year.
"We plan to sell up to 3,000 of the drives in the next few months," said Suzuki Technology founder and managing director Qumars Akbari.
The Sumo-Drive can be used as a personal Web server using software running on its built-in mini processor. The software allows users to access files and folders on the Sumo-Drive through a Web browser and also run BitTorrent, the popular peer-to-peer software, without the need for a computer.
You can access it on any WiFi-enabled device, such as computers, smartphones and gaming consoles, or on your wireless home network or over the Internet. This lets you access and retrieve data and multimedia files remotely. The device includes a rechargeable battery for use unplugged for up to 2.5 hours. The drive is available in capacities of 30GB (S$399), 80GB (S$445) and 120GB (S$499).
Since 1998, Suzuki Technology has been making off-the-shelf components like optical drives, graphic cards, modems, digital photo frames, security alarm systems and memory products. Not content with making humdrum IT products, it launched its first range of notebooks and the Sumo-Drive here last week. It has been selling notebooks in the Middle-East markets of Dubai, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia for four years, leveraging the contacts of its founders who originated from the region.
General manager Anantha Sai said: "What's new about the range we're launching here is that they come in colours — yellow, green, black and white — instead of the grey we have in other markets."
The laptops range in size, from 12.1 to 17 inches, and are priced from S$900 to S$2,000.
Mr Sai said the company aims to be more price-competitive than the bigger brands, while employing the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors.
The firm had revenue of US$45 million (S$66 million) last year and expects to hit US$50 million this year. It aims to generate US$100 million in annual revenue by 2010. It has set up distribution networks in countries such as India, Vietnam and Pakistan. Malaysia is next in its sights. - TODAY/sh