Conceptual Designs: How we can recycle the digital graveyard?

Some times fiddling and hopping in between jobs or projects, or at night the moment I close my eyes to sleep, I get a massive brain wave! This often gets me out of bed and sketching! So I asked myself:

What happens to the “old reliable electronic heroes” that faithfully supported you time after time in the past, after cast them away for newer electronic kid on the block?

Concept 1
My first concept is about a set of consumer electronics that reuses old USB memory drives. This also allows you to use your old memory drives as vessels to manage your intangible digital media. I sure all you gee…sorry technophiles, would have a drawer full of old thumb drives of small capacities doing nothing.
With out further adieu here is a proposal for a new life for all your outdated USB drives and the objects that combine it all together.
What if you had MP3 Players that allows you to use all your old USB drives that you cast aside for more powerful ones? How about the good old 128MB or 256MB drives? These memory sizes really make good sizes for listening to e-books or pod casts. Even when you head out for a jog, unless you are a marathon runner, you probably won’t need more than 10-15 songs at any one time.

(Above) A silicone head that fits the top of any USB drive. This is a simple no frills MP3 or media player, the track forward and back is just a simple “cocking” of the ear phone jack. Very simple with great haptic feedback.

(Above) The stretchy silicone gives it protection and a means to anchor it to any USB drive size.
(Below) What about a voice recorder that also uses the old USB drives? Voice recording formats are often small and of lower quality, so you could even dig out your 64MB memory drives. Here you have another head option for a USB drive. This time its a simple microphone that records what you say and saves it into the memory stick.

(Below) Here you have a USB “tree” and portable USB “hard drive” where you plug in all your old memory drives into a series or set and the software is smart enough to see is as one drive that is the “sum of all the parts” added up together.


Concept 2
My second concept is probably some kind of laptop or desktop computer that will allow you to plug in any combination of old CPUs, RAM chips and HARD drives. Again this system could add up all the sum of parts into one powerful machine. Great for 3rd world countries don’t you think? Hmm I’m still figuring out the shape for this, but imagine what a computer like this could do for all of us?
Ok brain splurge complete, and if anyone is interested to explore this ideas further, or would like to collaborate with me to take any of this concepts to the next level, please do not hesitate to contact me at dt [at] designsojourn [dot] com. Oh also comments please, the more the merrier!

6 Comments
  • Marc

    October 13, 2006 at 12:17 am Reply

    Nice application. Great idea for less fortunate countries too.

  • Design Translator

    October 13, 2006 at 8:30 am Reply

    Hi Marc,
    Thanks for stopping by and your comments.

  • The Foo

    November 7, 2006 at 2:53 am Reply

    nice ideas, i have been thinking about stuff like that too but am discouraged when you actually put it down to paper with the cost of manufacturing those things. looking at your designs, because they have intricate fittings, they all have to be custom made. your last one that turns it into a hard drive is awesome but i am not sure whether the mechanism can actually fit into a hinge type fitting without expensive customization. if you can do that, the usb tree is a no brainer as you can probably reuse the design. also, usb mp3 players are a rapidly dying breed here in the USA.

  • Design Translator

    November 7, 2006 at 10:25 am Reply

    Hi Foo,
    Nice to see you again.
    My main concern is not in the design that we can control, but wheather the computer is smart enough to see it all as one big drive!
    The last one, the hard drive, is one of my favourites, the surprise factor when you open it is pretty cool IMHO.

  • The Foo

    November 7, 2006 at 12:12 pm Reply

    yes that may be a problem as the chipsets to each usb module may be different. you can probably use some sort of software on the computer to create a kind of virtual mounting that allows it to see it as a big drive. the problem about that comes when you want to use it on another computer. there may be a trick around that one by installing a usb chip permanently in the product and install the mounting software there. however, yet another problem may escalate– when you mount drives, data has to be organized/ spread out within each usb and somehow the software has to be intelligent enough to recognize that taking out a usb will disrupt the mounting process/data.

  • Design Translator

    November 7, 2006 at 12:15 pm Reply

    hey thanks for this. I have been wondering about the possibility of such a technology. It would be great if we could do it yah.

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