World Record Set at Comdex/Fall '98: 111 Peripherals Attached to One Computer in Live Stage Event
Industry Group Highlights Strength and Diversity of USB Technology and Devices; Easier Way for Consumers to Use Computers
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 16, 1998 -- A new technology that makes computer connections easier was the centerpiece of a world record established today for the most peripheral devices attached and running from a single personal computer. Staged before a live audience at Fall COMDEX* '98, the record was secured by connecting 111 peripheral devices, ranging from mice, joysticks and keyboards to digital speakers and video conferencing systems, to one PC.
Developed through a computer industry initiative led by Intel Corporation, the Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a universal peripheral connection specification for the PC. USB provides a uniform approach for developing products so they interoperate seamlessly through a one-size-fits-all plug and port connection. All of the devices used in the event were developed by members of the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF), an industry group representing more than 500 companies worldwide.
Today's event demonstrates how USB makes it easier for consumers to set up and use computers with a broad spectrum of peripheral devices, providing a more powerful computing experience. By using USB peripherals that have multiple USB ports, or by using a USB "hub," which is a device with multiple USB ports, consumers can extend their PCs to work with more than 100 devices.The USB IF estimates the average user will connect six to eight peripherals at one time.
"This is a major milestone for our industry and for the consumer," said Steve Whalley, USB IF chairman and connectivity initiatives manger, Intel Corporation. "In four years, USB has gone from an idea to a mainstream market technology that makes computers easier to use. USB will appeal to existing and new PC users who are looking for simpler ways to attach a variety of different peripherals to the PC."
With virtually all new PCs shipping with USB ports, today's event highlights the emergence of USB as the port connection of choice for mainstream PC peripherals such as mice, keyboards, joysticks, printers and scanners, rather than traditional serial and parallel port connectors. In addition, it signals the beginning of an increasing stream of USB-compatible products expected to debut over the next few months.
"The bang will be heard in 1999, as the USB market finally begins to explode," said Nathan Brookwood, Insight 64 analyst and one of the official witnesses to the record-setting event. "Last winter, I expected USB peripheral shipments to increase twentyfold to 10 million devices in 1998, and fivefold to 50 million devices in 1999. Since then, an industry initiative to rid the personal computer of legacy devices, and the launch of the USB-enabled iMac, make even those numbers seem conservative."
Wide Variety of USB Devices Now Available to Consumers
The USB IF also announced today that more than 100 USB-compatible devices will be available to consumers this holiday buying season and that USB consumer education programs are being implemented in major retail stores in the United States.
These products come from a broad spectrum of the computer industry, ranging from leading manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Microsoft, Philips and Polaroid to smaller, entrepreneurial organizations such as Altec Lansing, Digital Persona, Inside Out Networks and Entrega. Since the June 25, 1998, release of Windows* '98, more than 60 new USB devices have been delivered or announced. An up-to-date list of USB IF member companies and USB products, as well as additional information on USB technology can be found at the IF Web site at www.usb.org.
"We have been working with major computer retailers to develop consumer awareness and education programs," Whalley said. "Demonstrations and in-store training events are taking place throughout the holiday buying season. Computer users will see how easily their PC can be expanded now with many USB peripherals and how to transform the PC from a business-centric tool to a family-oriented entertainment center for activities such as playing games and creating family newsletters."
About the USB IF
The USB IF was established in 1995 to support and accelerate the market and consumer adoption of USB-compliant peripherals. Today, the USB IF has more than 500 member companies and has led the way in helping companies introduce more than 100 USB-compliant products to the market.
The Fall COMDEX '98 event is the culmination of a world record-setting event which began at the Intel Developer's Forum (IDF) on Sept. 14, 1998, in Palm Springs, Calif. Witnessed by third party independents, the event featured 101 devices successfully attached to one PC. It has been submitted for consideration in the Guinness Book of World Records. Today's achievement will also be submitted.
* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.