Technology, and particularly data storage formats such as flash drives, is constantly getting smaller, and according to Moore’s law this trend is set to continue. In fact the actual hardware for storing data in a flash drive has become so small that the size of the USB port connector is the physical factor preventing the devices from being not much bigger than a grain of rice.
However there’s also the important aspect to consider that smaller and smaller tech devices aren’t necessarily a good thing, and I know if it were my thesis holding USB stick, I’d be quite happy for it to be the size of a bulky suitcase for it to be harder to lose.
That’s why Yookyung Shin and Hanhsi Chen of Beyond Object designed Empty Memory — some 8GB USB sticks with startlingly minimalistic designs, which openly show off the fact that a majority of the devices volume is necessary.
Each design contains a physical emptiness in its sculptural form, giving the metaphor that you can fill the space with your own memory.Beyond Object
Beyond Object’s ‘Empty Memory’ series comes in three different colours: stainless steel, gun metal, and rose gold; as well as in two distinct designs: Transparency and Structure. The former features a solid block of transparent acrylic, while the latter is composed of a low-poly style, geometric lattice that is completely hollow. However this framework can be simply fitted onto a length of string and wouldn’t look at all out of place as a piece of minimalistic jewellery. Meaning in theory you will always have it to hand.
This is wearable tech in its most literal form, but not in the modern sense of ‘wearables’. This USB stick jewellery doesn’t subscribe to the current day notion of wearables being wireless ‘Internet of Things’ connected devices, but instead as isolated objects that perhaps offer more secure data storage.
Industrial designer Hanhsi Chen formed form Beyond Object after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art back in 2011. The brand design sculptural objects that perform everyday office tasks, such as a letter opener, a pencil sharpener, and even a sellotape dispenser.
Empty Memory USB Sticks cost between £50 and £60 each through the Beyond Object website (previously known as Logical Art). However they’re also available for purchase through larger retailers such as Amara.
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