CES: Iosafe starts the show with fireworks -- or, at least, a fire

IoSafe is a company that, up until now, has provided enterprise-level disaster-safe storage. It is now entering the consumer market with its ioSafe Solo, a 3.5-inch external SATA hard drive that, according to the company, can withstand both flood and fire.

The Solo consists of a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive surrounded by an enclosure that has been built to be able to survive temperatures of up to 1,550 degrees F for 30 minutes, or up to three days in 10 feet of water (with or without salt). In order to prove it, I watched on Tuesday as CEO Robb Moore lowered the drive into a Las Vegas swimming pool and then fried it in a fire-box.

ioSafe's Solo under fire.

It was certainly an effective demonstration. After several minutes of intense heat, the enclosure was glowing hot; once it was carefully unscrewed, and the additional wrapping surrounding the drive was cut away, the drive appeared to be completely unharmed -- which was proved when it was hooked into a computer and still had all its files intact. An unprotected hard drive that had been placed on top of the Solo had been reduced to a pile of burnt metal.

Whether or not the Solo will make it as a consumer product depends somewhat on how practical your everyday buyer is. The device is much larger and heavier than other external hard drives -- quite frankly, it won't win any beauty contests. But for consumers who are concerned about losing their data in a disaster, looks might not be as important as safety.

The ioSafe Solo is priced at $149 for 500GB, $199 for 1TB, and $299 for 1.5TB.

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