Deals

Toshiba and NCR invest $35 million in MOD Systems for portable storage

Toshiba and NCR have invested $35 million in MOD Systems, which is developing a new way to distribute digital content to portable storage devices.

Seattle-based MOD Systems is working on a faster, more convenient way to download movies and entertainment using flash memory cards (in the Secure Digital format). With it, you can download entertainment files to a memory card at self-service kiosks in retail stores, airports, and other outlets. It’s a lot like how you can print photos at the local drug store using a photo kiosk.

Toshiba supplies the Secure Digital memory cards while MOD Systems handles the digital distribution and content management platform. NCR builds the kiosks. Toshiba and NCR will have minority stakes in MOD Systems. The effort resembles SanDisk’s recent announcement of putting music albums on flash memory cards for sale at stores in an attempt to replace the music CD. But the trio of companies say they hope to revolutionize the sale of not only music but video, movies, and other digital content.

The technology will enable secure transfer of content to the memory chips, meaning it will have digital rights management built into it. That may prove unpopular with consumers, depending on the terms of the DRM rights. The companies say that Hollywood studios have pledged to make 4,000 titles available at launch.

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