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Seagate Makes International CES Debut

Seagate Technologies hopes to make a big splash for its first-ever foray onto the International CES show floor.

The company decided to go for a full-blown booth this year instead of its usual meeting room setup so it could draw attention to the larger role storage is now playing in the CE and computer worlds.

“We want to reach a wider audience, more than retailers and OEMs,” said Rob Pait, Seagate’s global marketing director. “We want to see if we can stimulate interest from those attending so they can see what you can really do with storage.”

To show the important role Seagate sees storage playing in everyday life, it has created a series of videos featuring filmmaker Spike Lee and fashion photographer Albert Watson, among others, that has these individuals discussing how storage has made their jobs better and easier.

The new consumer products Seagate will show are a 160GB portable hard drive and a 500GB external hard drive with a serial ATA interface. The 160GB model is not quite pocket portable, Pait said, and uses Perpendicular Magnetic Recording technology that increases the amount of data the platter can hold.

For the OEM sector, the company has the EE25 drive for the automotive market. Pait said Seagate is receiving a huge amount of interest from a wide variety of manufacturers for hardened hard drives. These include auto makers, navigation firms and even a gas pump manufacturer who would like to place a drive in a pump so drivers could download media while they fill up, he said.

Seagate will have several concept products on hand, such as a wireless USB networking/storage device and the Tornado Drive. The latter is an external storage cartridge about the size of an old eight-track cassette that can be used to share content between computers or between a computer and a CE product. Pait said the user would download programming stored on a computer onto the cartridge, and then the cartridge would drop into a docking station that would then connect to a TV for viewing.

Seagate is also working to have the docking station integrated into the TV itself or a set-top box, Pait said.