The promise is simple: Take a small box, stuff in some flash memory and a Wi-Fi radio, and make the contents of that flash storage available to any device on the network via a web browser.
That’s the Packetta from King Jim – a USB dongle which would be just about ideal were it not for a few deficiencies.
The Packetta comes in 8GB and 16GB sizes, and is powered by USB (no battery). It requires a dedicated app to receive data (iOS and Windows 7 are the only supported platforms) and you’ll need to actually hook it up to a PC to get it up and running.
The prices are also ill-considered: $120 for the 8GB and $180 for the 16GB.
So I guess that the ideal device is yet to be made. It should have SD and microSD slots for storage, it should allow connections via HTTP (for everything), plus SMB, UPnP and other connection methods so you can stream movies direct to apps on your iDevice.
It should create its own hotspot as well as joining existing networks. It should be battery powered and run off USB, and it should mount as a USB drive on desktop systems for fast file transfer.
I’d buy one. Or maybe it exists already and I haven’t heard of it?