Nearly two years have passed since Iomega and EMC (known for its data backup software) joined, and Iomega's latest offering reflects the company's current emphasis on integrating the hardware and software experience. Iomega's new v.Clone, introduced here at CES, aims to simplify software virtualization by making it simple for users to clone their PC and use it anywhere.
Virtualization software is not new, of course, and several manufacturers have tried before to provide virtualization on a USB flash memory drive. The difference here is that it's a mainstream hard drive vendor providing virtualization for consumers--and doing so on something significantly bigger than a paltry flash drive that can barely handle your Internet favorites and e-mail.
More importantly, v.Clone does more than just replicate your system's environment, as many of those early options did. The v.Clone technology lets you create a working clone of your primary computer on a hard drive, so you can then plug that drive into another PC, and it will appear as if you're accessing your own system instead. When you disconnect the Iomega drive running v.Clone, all traces of your system disappear from the host PC you were connected to. It also lets you sync your content back to your primary computer as well, so your files are always up-to-date, wherever you are. EMC developed v.Clone using VMWare technology.
Not only will some hard drives include this technology, but Iomega will make the software available for free for owners of its eGo, eGo BlackBelt, eGo Encrypt Plus, and Prestige Compact Edition hard drives, as well its USB deskop hard drives (including the eGo Desktop and Prestige Desktop Hard Drives).
In addition to v.Clone, Iomega also launched three new additions to its ScreenPlay HD Media lineup. Most interesting is the top-of-the-line model, the $249 ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player. Due later this month, this HD media player not only connects your home network content to your TV, but also adds Sonic Solutions' Roxio CinemaNow for buying or renting digital entertainment via the TV. ScreenPlay Director outputs video at 1080p and 24fps, and has 1TB of storage. It can play a laundry list of media files, including DivX, H.264, and WMV; works with PCs and Macs; and can connect to your home network via ethernet or Wi-Fi (adaptor sold separately). It also can connect to and playback Internet media from such services as YouTube, Flickr, Shoutcast Internet radio, RSS feeds, and podcasts.
For more up-to-the-minute blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PC World's complete coverage of CES 2010.