Kingston Digital is to start UK sales next week of its Wi-Drive media-sharing device. The Kingston Wi-Drive is a media sharing hard drive that offers either 16GB or 32GB of flash memory storage. It is designed to allow the owner of an Apple device such as an iPad, iPhone or iPod to share content with other Apple users. It is also being marketed as a solution to the relatively small storage capacity of these devices. Content is first loaded on to the Wi-Drive via USB. Users who are granted access to the drive are able to see a menu of its contents and access them via an accompanying app.

The Kingston Wi-Drive has an 802.11g/n Wi-Fi radio allowing content stored on the drive to be accessed wirelessly. Access to the device is protected by WEP encryption. Users must browse to the Kingston Wi-Drive on their network, log in as they would to any other network device and then use the accompanying app to browse and launch any items they wish. On this first version of the Wi-Drive, streaming content is the only option. However, Kingston Digital says it is likely to add a download option in the future.

Andrew Ewing, Flash Memory Business Manager, Kingston. “Wi-Drive allows Apple device owners to wirelessly manage document and media files, and choose to share them with others, while on the go for work or pleasure. This unique functionality, combined with the durability of a Flash-based device, will satisfy both casual users and the most discerning technophiles.”

The Wi-Drive measures 122x62mmx10mm and allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to store and share music, photos, videos and text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. AAC, WMV and MP3 audio can be streamed from the device, as can Mpeg4, MOV and AVI video. Image support is limited to Jpeg, Tiff and bitmap files.

The Kingston Wi-Drive goes onsale in the UK from Monday with an RRP of £89 inc VAT for 16GB drive and £119 for 32GB drive.

Kingston Digital is a division of Kingston Technologies, which primarily makes flash memory.