CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

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CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Brussels designer Sylvain Willenz drew on cassette tapes and floppy disks for the design of these external hard drives. 

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Called CLS Mobile Drive, the design features paper labels behind removable windows for marking the contents of each drive.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

A dock allows three drives to be connected at once.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Willenz created the design for German digital storage company Freecom.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Photographs are by Julien Renault.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Here's some more information from Willenz:


New CLS Mobile drive designed by SYLVAIN WILLENZ for FREECOM

Following the success of the XXS Mobile Drive and other products, Freecom commissioned us to develop a new concept for collecting and organizing data.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

The response is the CLS Mobile Drive, an external mobile hard drive that incorporates a labeling system on its side, enabling users to organize their data and identify hard drive contents at a glance.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Witnessing the growing number of hard drives owned by individuals for their data (music, data, films, back-ups...) and inspired by the old cassette tapes and floppy drives, we imagined a drive that could be labeled in a very simple and personal way.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

The label is kept behind a removable window set in the side of the drive. The CLS comes in a stackable see-through case with spare colored labels and a small USB cable. Alongside, we also designed a dock, allowing for 3 drives and 1 extra peripheral to be connected to the computer simultaneously.

CLS Mobile Drive by Sylvain Willenz

Materials: Injection moulded plastics, 2.5" Hard Drive
Dimensions: 109.8 x 79.5 x 13.5 mm
Project Assistant: Robbie Van Nieuwenhove


See also:

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Little Disk Program by
Industrial Facility
Newton Virus
by Troika
Memory Stucks by
Beta Tank
  • Xit

    Moving forwards by going backwards ?

    I think the days of writing on cassette like media is very dated, with the potential sizes of storage available in harddrives etc we can put almost all of our data (photos music etc) into one device then with our computers search for the relevant information.

    Maybe some nostalgic consumers will like this, but I don't think the technophiles would consider buying this.

  • http://www.andymatthewsphotography.com Andy

    I love the design although I have to agree, it's moving towards large single volumes of storage. Think 20tb external drives with everything you've ever created on.

    Cute though.

    • michelalano

      The name of this design contains the word "mobile." It's designed with the idea of throwing it in your bag and taking it to class or work and not having to lug a big hard drive around. Do you really want to tote around 20 TB of data and risk losing EVERYTHING if you trip on the sidewalk? Obviously drives are getting bigger and bigger but that's not the aim of this proposal.

  • yupido

    Mr. Xit from what i understad this are HD's
    and i do indeed really like this idea because i never know on wich one i do have what… with this i coeld creat again a kind of photoalbum by storing the casettes…
    I hope its not to expensif but i want to have it for x-mess!!!! (its cold in Holland sorry for this)

  • poly

    kind of pointless. people store hundreds of files and folders on external drives. If you have 1TB dedicated to a photo album, you must be a pretty serious photo hobbyist

  • Pete

    The labelling is just part of the nostalgic appeal. Do all the previous people who commented actually believe that someone is going to adhere to the label on any particular drive?

    Even if you DO it 's not so inconceivable if you dedicate one drive to "movies" or "documentaries" ………. "porn" .

  • barbara

    This is a great idea. Xit, the world you are describing is one that consists of individual inhabitants only. There are lots of situations where multiple people need multiple HD's that can be distinguished. A company with more than 1 employee for example. There seem to be a few of those around. And backing up on one HD is not a really good idea either. They do break and catch viruses.

    • Xit

      Having a shared drive in a company just for images lets say doesn't make any difference to viruses or device failure.

      The shared notion you are refering to in a company exists already & takes place effortlessly & virtually on a server.

      • barbara

        I did not write that having a shared drive in a company makes any difference to viruses or device failure. (Even though HD's actually don't like switching from PC to Mac that much for example) What I wrote is that it is not a good idea to have one back up device.

        Also not all companies want to work with or rely on virtual servers only and how about freelancers? And how about partners in one household that have one each? Nice to know from the outside who owns which device before you take your partners porn to work! Same reason why people have different covers for phones or stickers on their computers. This solution is just very nice an discrete way of distinguishing.

  • hair_piece

    This is totally out dated, even before it was conceived. We should be focused on net based storage, not individual storage devices which are cumbersome and subject to failure. No medium except carved stone can match the data longevity of dispersed copies over a network. Just ask RIAA. Survival through redundancy.

    If the point is to make the user experience easier then focus on UI functionality, don't complicate hardware. Also, the tape labels never worked very well in the first place. What happens when I re-organize? I had tapes with so many crossed out titles I eventually learned which ones I wanted not because they said what was on them, but by recognizing what had been crossed out. There was not more room to write, should this be a limit to the products functionality? Why? Do you want me to just keep buying labels? Isn't that annoying?

    • mike

      lol. chill out!

  • jimjim

    I love this. I once lost lots of info on a big drive when it died so now spread my info across several drives which I find far more convenient and safer. I can travel with my entertainment drive, or my work drive and leave my back up at home. I also have a 2tb tower with everything on it, but that's hidden away. These are amazing desktop storage drives and I will be buying at least 2. Well done Sylvain, a great evolution on the xxs

  • http://benfinoradin.info ben

    worth it – if only for the dock… wonder what brand hd it will use…

  • Phil

    I like it! Great docking station, great individual storage case to transport in, good idea to be able to label the drives, bit of an overkill highlighting that the labels have a magnification cover, but overall… this is a good product.

    Take that!

  • Vee

    where can we buy it?

  • Felix

    don't like the docking station myself, just seems redundant when you could have a generic usb dock that can accept any device. and it supposes you only buy these drives in multiples of 3.

    i have labelled my drive with stickers like this, so maybe this designer has done the same and thought he would use it as a concept. as people say above though, it's short sighted.

    • Balled

      Yep, just what i was thinking a USB hub and a few powerful USB sticks, coloured if you wish (ex 64 G) that slide easily into a coin pocket on your jeans.

      Would be smaller and less fuss.

  • Fizz

    Neat, hands-on, uncomplicated, fit for purpose, instant recognition, flexible, mobile, with much visual and possibly tactile appeal. Brings a bit of human functionality back into hi-tech. Is that such a sin?

  • natnat

    I think it certainly does not work. even the argument of having it as a mobile HD is trying too hard, it's not new, people can store temp info on their ipods… you have automatic backup HD .., but this might be a nice gift for teens.