Mobile computing just got more portable.
Making even the latest pocketbook-sized ultra-mobile personal computers look more like lumbering giants, RingCube Technologies Inc. unveiled software that can virtually squeeze a PC onto an iPod, USB keychain drive, cell phone or any gizmo with digital storage space.
RingCube's MojoPac software mirrors a computer's personal settings, programs and data on a storage device. Then, when it's connected to any computer running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system, the virtual desktop will run in a window of the underlying PC.
"You're taking your digital soul with you on any portable storage device," said Shan Appajodu, chief executive and co-founder of RingCube.
A user could toggle between the two computing environments. The company contends that everything you do with your MojoPac PC will remain private: the underlying host PC won't retain any of the files or cache copies of what you did on MojoPac, the company said.
The software can be downloaded and tested at no cost for 30 days. If bought within a month of the product's release, it will cost $29.99 with up to three additional licenses for $14.99 each. After the introductory period, the price will jump to $49.99, with up to three extra licenses costing $24.99 each.
MojoPac will be shown off at the DEMOfall 2006 conference, an elite showcase of emerging technologies being held this week in San Diego.
"I lug my laptop around with me everywhere and the idea that I could bring my work environment around with me on a USB key is really attractive," said DEMO producer Chris Shipley.
The software works by creating a virtual operating system that runs the programs users load onto the storage device. RingCube says MojoPac supports any off-the-shelf applications, including PC video games and applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office.
The idea is to transform any computer found at Internet cafes, dorm rooms, libraries or business offices into your personal computer, said Appajodu, who started developing the product more than two years ago.
Mountain View-based RingCube also hopes to introduce a prepackaged version of MojoPac such as on a keychain drive as a low cost computing alternative in developing nations, where many can't afford their own computers. Many people in those areas can't afford personal computers but have access to Internet kiosks.
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