A USB memory stick, commonly referred to as USB flash drive of custom flash drives in the promotional industry, is a very small device that is able to store large amounts of data. The flash drive is able to store data by utilizing an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB)1. Prior to flash drives being introduced to the technology sector, both CDs and floppy disks were used to store and transfer data. The development of USB memory sticks has been a technological breakthrough, due to the fact that they are compact and manageable in size (average weight of a USB memory stick is roughly 30 grams2), and are capable of storing tremendous amounts of data. These devices are far more reliable than its previous predecessors because of its durability, and also due to its lack of moving parts. The storage capacity of USB memory sticks range anywhere from 500 megabytes to an impressive 1 terabyte. There are even plans in the future to release USB memory sticks as large as 2 terabytes3.
The majority of modern day operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux) are compatible with USB memory sticks, and in recent years, there has been a transition to USB 2.0. USB 2.0 is similar to the original USB technology, but supports faster data transfer speeds and increased storage capacity. Each USB flash drive consists of a small printed circuit board which is activated once it is connected to the device. They are powered on once they are connected to a computer or another compatible device through the USB connection. USB flash drives are now a very common computer peripheral used by students and day to day professionals to store and transfer important data for school or work or other common purposes. Because of this, most USB flash drives come with a protective cap to become convenient and portable in every scenario. Because of a high demand for these devices, USB flash drives have become more accessible, economical, and prevalent in households all over the world.
The USB flash drive was invented in April of 1999 by three engineers by the name of Dov Moran, OronOgdan, and Amir Ban, all of M-Systems4. Today, many other companies distribute these devices such as Sony, SanDisk, Kingston, New Century Technology Limited, Tairom Technology Company Ltd, and many more. These devices can be purchased from online stores, basic electronics stores (such as Best Buy), from wholesale vendors as promotional flash drives, or even from schools and convenience stores. USB flash drives have been combined into everyday commonly carried items such as pens, watches, phones, key chains, and even pocket knives. Because of their increased used among a broad spectrum of people, manufacturers have created novelty USB flash drives to appeal to every user. This can consist of flash drives disguised as pieces of sushi, Lego toys, cartoon characters, and even gilded in gold and diamonds for the rich and famous.