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The inventor of compact storage devise the ThumbDrive Henn Tan has now come up with another invention – a postage stamp-size storage device called the FluCard that can be used to transmit data wirelessly.

According to an article by AFP carried on, Tan could have ruled the global market with his original invention in what became the USB flash drive. But his grip on the ThumbDrive slipped and the market was flooded with a myriad of brands for the handy memory device which could be small enough to dangle on a key ring.

This Singapore entrepreneur holds the patent for the compact data storage device in over 30 markets and the global trademark for the ThumbDrive brand, now has a firmer hold on another invention with a rather unusual name.

The FluCard is Tan’s new baby and he hopes to see it used by millions of people; just like the USB drive.

Tan said many thought the ThumbDrive – which has become a generic name for memory devices that plug into computer USB slots – was a one-hit wonder.

“We are more than just about ThumbDrives and the power of this FluCard is going to be immense,” insisted the chairman and chief executive of Trek 2000 International, which is listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Tan said he should have partnered with an established player in 2000 with his ThumbDrive. This time around, he has teamed up with Japan’s Toshiba Corp to promote the FluCard and ensure its patent is protected globally.

Tan said his company and Toshiba, now the second largest shareholder in Trek 2000 International after him, formed a consortium of camera makers to adopt the FluCard as the industry standard.

Shaped exactly like the Secure Digital (SD) memory cards now used widely in compact digital cameras, the FluCard comes embedded with WiFi to transmit data to other wireless-enabled devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablet computers.

“It can do more than what an ordinary dumb, dumb SD card can do which is just to store data,” Tan said.

“As long as you have a hardware embedded with WiFi, you can download anything from the FluCard.”

Launched earlier this year, the FluCard works in any device that has an SD slot and the camera market is the most obvious target for Tan.

SD cards are predominantly used in compact digital cameras, 100 million of which were sold in 2009 alone, according to industry estimates. – More at


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