With the announcement a couple of weeks ago by Kingston Technology of the launch of the world’s first 256GB USB flash drive how long will it be before USB memory sticks of this size are being given away free as part of promotional and marketing campaigns.

A 256GB Memory stick is capable of storing 51,000 images or the equivalent of 54 DVDs-worth of data in your pocket. That’s a HUGE amount of data and it really does open up all sorts of data storage options, including the ability to store High Def movies and trailers on a USB memory stick. The downside is that they are not cheap. At the moment the RRP for the Kingston Data Traveller 300 – 256GB is around £550 each!! But this does come with a five-year warranty and 24/7 Tech Support.

So, suggesting that these behemoths of the USB Memory stick world could be given away free by companies simply as a way of promoting their brand or products seems absurd but consider the history of the humble USB memory stick.

In 2002 a typical branded USB memory stick was 16MB. Today the most popular size of USB Memory stick chosen by companies for promotional activities is 2GB. In 2002 using a 2GB memory stick for promotional use would have seemed equally absurd but just 7 years later millions of them are given away free of charge every year.

When we do reach the point where a 256GB USB memory stick can be a economic proposition for the promotions industry it will be interesting to see what use the massive amounts of storage they deliver are being put to. With at least 5 years there is plenty of time to put our collective thinking caps on.