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New SD Card Allows Users To Post Pics Directly To Web

December 14, 2010

The father of the USB flash drive is back, this time touting a new storage device the size of a postage stamp which can be used with digital cameras and can even transmit data wirelessly.

The device, uniquely dubbed the FluCard, is the latest creation of 54-year-old Henn Tan, the man who created the ThumbDrive–a small storage device that eventually morphed into the flash drive.

Tan, the chairman and CEO of Trek 2000 International, said he came up with the idea for the device, which allows users to upload photos immediately to the Internet, after losing his camera during a family vacation in China some five years ago.

According to a Tuesday article by Bernice Han of AFP, the FluCard looks exactly like an existing Secure Digital (SD) memory card, currently the storage medium of choice for digital photographers. Unlike traditional SD cards, though, Tan’s new devices “comes embedded with WiFi to transmit data to other wireless-enabled devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablet computers,” says Han.

“You can’t be going back to the places to retake the photos, and I felt lousy there wasn’t any data backup,” Tan said of the experience that led to the FluCard’s creation, adding that the “power” of the new device would be “immense if I get it right.”

As for the unusual name, Tan told Han that it was chosen because it was “contagious and easy to recall” as well as universally understood: “You go to Afghanistan, you say flu, and they understand.”

In a November interview with Hans Villarica of Time’s Techland blog, the Singapore native also noted that the FluCard moniker was selected because it was “contagious”¦ It’s going to spread. It’s the same as the flu–by the time you’re down with flu, you’re already a victim of the flu.”

Tan also told Villarica that the device did not need Internet access to operate, saying that even in an environment like the jungle, “you can swap photos.” He also added that the FluCard’s Wi-Fi service was “free of charge” and that the card itself “scalable”¦ By first quarter [2011], this card will support seamless printing and can be connected to a projector.”

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