Three years after this post, someone has finally invented this product. The SanDisk Connect 64G Wireless Media Drive Streaming On the Go (SDWS1-064G-A57)
does everything I envisioned and more.
I have a concept for an invention. I don’t think anyone makes it yet but it definitely needs to be made. It’s not anything revolutionary. It simply combines existing technology to create a new class of products.
I want to play media on a portable device but I want to choose from a vast selection of movies, pictures, music, or other rich media content and be able to share it with other devices.
iPad, iPhones, and other mobile devices
- Limited or non-existent external storage.
- It’s a one on one device. Media on the iPad can only be viewed on that iPad.
- You can connect to the web but that requires an internet connection. That’s not always possible or feasible.
MiFi or Sprint EVO
- Portable battery operated hotspot that connects devices to the internet.
- That solves the hotspot problem but the internet connection is not needed. It’s certainly nice to have but the cost to have it makes the device prohibitively expensive.
- No storage.
- Now we have storage. This connects to an external usb drive but…
- It requires AC power and is not portable.
- No hotspot capabilities. It’s designed to output to a TV.
- Portable drive dock with a web server built in but it must be connected to a router.
- The drive connection is proprietary and only connects to the Seagate FreeAgent drives.
What’s needed is a portable media server that has a built web server and acts as a hotspot.
- Battery operated like the Mifi
- Operates as a local hotspot allowing multiple devices to connect.
- USB dock for 2.5” hard drive where content can be stored.
- Since it acts as a web server, this can also function as a destination storage devices for EyeFi and any other wifi enabled camera.
- Option to turn off hotspot and connect direct via cable to iPad or Iphone for airplane use.
- AC adapter + vehicle power adapter.
- Possible form factors include shaping it as a stand for an iPad.
- Price should be around $99.00.
With such a device, a user will be able to store up to 1 TB of content on a 2.5” hard drive and serve a small group of devices in a local area. Note that iPads and iPhones cannot play most avi files. To pay non-supported files, use Air Video to convert and stream video on the fly.
- In vehicle as a media server.
- In business meetings to serve presentation, documents, spreadsheets, etc.
- At parties as a media server for music, movies, and photos.
- In the airplane as a media server for movies on a long trip.
- Camping, boating, and other venues where power wifi is not always available.
Someone in Shenzhen, China please make this and send me one for thinking of it.