SKD Designs Lifestudio for Hitachi - Transforming a Hard Drive Into an Interactive Experience

SKD Designs Lifestudio for Hitachi: Transforming a Hard Drive Into an Interactive Experience

Stuart Karten Design announced that it has helped Hitachi GST create an innovative product ID for its new family of LifeStudio external hard drives. Along with this new patent-pending design, Hitachi's LifeStudio drives redefines the digital storage category with the industry's first family of storage devices that change the way people interact with their digital content.

During the last decade, the advancement of digital hard drives has been incremental, limited to new exterior designs and larger storage specifications. Pushing design boundaries beyond a hard drive in a box, SKD introduced design concepts that respond to the new ways in which people interact with digital content with first-to-market features. New innovations, such as a patent-pending integrated USB key for grab n' go flexibility, take Hitachi's new products from a simple external storage and backup device to an interactive experience.

"Hitachi asked us to envision how the hard drive will remain relevant to customers now and into the future," said SKD principal Stuart Karten. "We saw mobility as one of the key opportunities to improve the experience. Today's busy customer is constantly connected, creating and accessing digital content from multiple computers, laptops and smart phones throughout the day. Our designs incorporate aesthetic as well as functional improvements that help to make information as mobile as the people who create it."

In conjunction with SKD's user insights, Hitachi developed a family of drives in which hardware, software and interface cooperatively respond to customers' changing digital lifestyles.

The LifeStudio family, offered in both portable and desktop models, creates an unprecedented solution that seamlessly pulls in, organizes and protects digital content and unifies them with online digital content from social networks such as Facebook and photo sites like Flickr. Information and memories are laid out on a 3D visual wall powered by Cooliris, instead of in random, hard to find folders.

The patent-pending design of the LifeStudio Plus family provides flexibility with an integrated 4GB USB flash key, which provides a quick way to sync important files and folders for use on multiple devices. The drives' content management software allows users to select specific files or folders to sync to the USB key, after which they can remove they key and take what they need, leaving the rest of the content stored safely at home. On return, the key docks on the drive to automatically sync all content back together. The drive's dynamic angled face presents this new feature to the user as a focal point of the design.

"Hitachi GST strives to provide consumers with top-quality external storage solutions that go beyond simple storage and back-up," said Mike Williams, vice president and general manager, Branded Business for Hitachi GST. "From a product ID perspective, SKD customer insights and designs have allowed our drives to push creative boundaries. For the first time ever, we've married a traditional external hard drive with a flash USB key, creating a lifestyle design like no other. Blend that with our innovative software and 3D interface, and our LifeStudio solution connects consumers to their online and local content in a more intimate way than ever before."

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