Today here at CES, LaCie has taken the wraps off a globular, elongated USB key called the Culbuto. Designed by French designer Constance Guisset, this storage drive bobs about when poked or otherwise disturbed, hence the maker describing it as akin to a roly-poly toy. The name Culbuto itself hints at the drive’s nature, being the French word for a weighted-base toy that rolls upright when it’s knocked to the side.
The idea is the Culbuto serves as both a decorative piece and a utilitarian device, featuring a metal base that leads up to a silicone rubber stem, the opposite end of which contains the USB plug. There’s a cap to cover the USB plug, as well as a small slit on the end that a business card or other small piece of paper can be mounted in. This way, when the drive is sitting upright as a decoration, it has a secondary function.
The rubber is of the soft touch variety, so it feels pleasant when held and will have traction on a surface. You can see it in action in the video above, giving you a good idea of how it works. The drive itself is USB 3.0, so there won’t be any concerns about slow transfer rates. LaCie includes its private-public software on the drive.
Said the product designer Constance Guisset: “The search for movement and balance is essential in my work. Repeated and infinite oscillation fascinates me. For my first project with LaCie, I proposed a slightly roly-poly key that eventually became LaCie Xtremkey. When LaCie asked me to develop this idea, Culbuto was the result. It’s an irresistibly fun USB key.” The drive is available now for $49.99 (16GB). There is also a 32GB capacity available.