2 [PC Magazine] SanDisk Marries Flash with USB


Are there actually electrical components in the other half of the SD card, or is it just a sheath for the USB / handle for inserting & removing the SD card?  Maybe I'm just out of touch but I'm impressed if they fit everything for the flash / USB inside half an SD card.
That's kinda wierd.  I wonder why they didn't just make a little socket that takes SD cards and connects to USB.  It could probably be similar in size and shape to the common USB flash sticks, but have a socket for the SD card instead of built-in flash.  It seems simpler.  I guess the idea would be to avoid having anything extra you have to carry besides just your camera / phone / PDA / whatever it is you use the SD with.  Thinking about what factors led to need for this sort of card:
  • Most cameras need a USB cable to connect to a PC, there's no built-in connector or wireless
  • Most people with cameras don't carry around the USB cable or an external SD card reader
  • Most people with PCs don't have SD readers, internal or external
  • Most people with PCs don't have extra USB cables lying around
Do you think PC manufacturers will start adding readers for the various storage formats, standard on most PCs, and make this need go away?  Or devices will get prevalent enough that USB cables will be easy to find?  Will camera manufacturers start putting a pop-out USB connector on their cameras?  Or building in a wireless connector like bluetooth?
This card seems like a transient thing to serve today's lack of all these things, but I think somewhere along the line it will become obsolete.
What it does seem to suggest is that today's devices can't just have a solution for storing a lot of data.  They also have to pair that with a solution for transporting the data between the device and a PCs (or other devices?).
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