USB flash drives are incredibly popular at the moment and have pretty much replaced the CD and DVD as the preferred medium on which to store and carry personal data. Floppy disks, with the exception of the few die-hards that still use them, are all but extinct and there’s a whole new generation that will have never seen or used a floppy disk.
USB flash drives are popular because they’re relatively cheap, they’re easy to use, they’re small, they’re portable and you can transfer data onto them quickly and without fuss or any technical knowledge. Because pretty much every PC and Mac has a USB port when you use a USB flash drive to store and carry data around with you, you know you’re going to be able to access the data on pretty much any PC you use, whether the PC is at home, work or school.
Of course most people when they want a new USB flash drive they’ll pick one up at the local store or order one from the myriad of on-line stores that sell them. The only downside of doing this is that most of the stores carry the same style, brand and type of flash drive and most of them are the same rectangular shape – not exciting but they work and the core design around which most are built is a tried and tested shape.
Many crave the opportunity to be different, to push back on the bland uniformity of everyday product design but for many part from putting a “sticker” or two on the drives there’s not much that can be done, or is there?
USB flash drives are pretty simple devices made up of 4 components; the core flash memory module, the flash memory controller chip (the brains of the unit); the PCB with integral USB connector and the “shell” that encases these parts and gives the flash drive its styling and look.
Today it’s possible to buy a USB PCB with the flash memory module and controller chip already on-board. – This effectively give you a functional USB flash drive but without a body shell. But if you buy these then you can design and make your own shell and have a truly unique flash drive that is personal to you.
Some schools are catching on to this idea and buying USB PCB’s and setting their students the task of designing and building a USB flash drive – it’s a great idea and a fantastic way to get the students engaged in product design, manufacture and packaging – who knows, they might even come up with a design to challenge the big, established brands.
USB2U is a supplier of branded USB flash drives but can also supply “build your own USB Flash Drive” kits for schools or colleges – call now for a quote or fill in the on-lineBack