New FlashTrax™ Technology Bridges the Gap Between 'Silicon Audio Players' and Automotive Cassette Players, 'Boom Boxes,' and Personal Stereos
Naples, FL -- March 22, 2000 -- SmartDisk Corporation (Nasdaq: SMDK), a company whose products simplify the digital lifestyle, announced today that it has developed a breakthrough prototype based on innovative patented technology that will extend digital music to users of traditional audio cassette players. FlashTrax™ resembles a conventional audio cassette but has a slot that accepts a removable flash memory card on which digital audio files are stored. FlashTrax will enable traditional audio cassette players, particularly those installed in automobiles, to play music downloaded from the Internet or copied from an existing CD collection. FlashTrax is protected by a United States patent which has a priority date of 1989.
SmartDisk recently demonstrated the FlashTrax technology in a working prototype model that uses MultiMediaCard flash memory cards. FlashTrax plays MP3-formatted music stored on the cards through standard cassette players, without additional accessories. SmartDisk is planning to deliver FlashTrax to the market later this year. Support for other flash memory card formats is planned.
"SmartDisk believes that FlashTrax will bring the enticing world of digital music to millions of consumers who already own one or more audio cassette players," said Douglas Kraul, Vice President, Audio/Video Products Division for SmartDisk. "Consumers can now listen to digital music easily and conveniently, without headphones, at home, in the car, or at the office. In short, with FlashTrax, consumers can enjoy their digital music in any cassette player."
FlashTrax builds on SmartDisk's leadership in flash memory and removable memory adapters. The company's FlashPath™ floppy disk adapter is used primarily with digital cameras from such well-known manufacturers as FujiFilm, Olympus, Sony and Toshiba.
"FlashTrax will link removable flash memory cards with audio cassette players already installed in millions of automobiles, personal stereos, and boom boxes, much the same as FlashPath serves as a bridge between digital cameras and PCs," said Michael S. Battaglia, SmartDisk's President and CEO. "As an enabling technology, FlashPath accelerated the growth of the digital camera market. We believe that FlashTrax will have an even greater effect on the escalation of the digital music marketplace."
"One of the key features of FlashTrax is its use of removable flash memory cards to store digital audio files," said Nelson Chan, Senior Vice President of Marketing at SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq: SNDK), the world's largest supplier of flash data storage products. "This feature provides users with virtually unlimited versatility and storage capacity. SmartDisk's FlashTrax will broaden the market for flash memory cards such as the MultiMediaCard and potentially the Secure Digital Memory Card, both cards that SanDisk co-invented, because FlashTrax will make digital music and other audio files more accessible to the consumer."
About SmartDisk Corporation
SmartDisk's products are designed to simplify the transfer and storage of digital photographs, video, music, voice and data among personal computers, the Internet and digital appliances. The company is using its proprietary and patented technologies to capitalize on the growing demand for digital applications and increased usage of the Internet. SmartDisk's investors include Toshiba, Hitachi, NEC, SanDisk, SCM Microsystems and others. For more information, go to www.smartdisk.com.
This press release includes statements which may constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although SmartDisk Corporation believes the expectations contained in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove correct. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results. Such risks include, but are not limited to: "We depend on a limited number of contract and offshore manufacturers, and it may be difficult to find replacement manufacturers if our existing relationships are impaired;" "Our ability to sell our products will be limited if the OEMs's products do not achieve market acceptance or if the OEMs do not adequately promote our products;" "We will not
be able to sell sufficient quantities of our products to sustain a viable business if the market for flash memory products does not develop or if a competing technology displaces flash memory products;" and the other risk factors all as more fully described in SmartDisk's Registration Statement on Form S-1 and in other reports and periodic filings made from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.