Memory sticks are handy devices that can be used to copy and store data from computer hard drives. Developed as an alternative data storage method to the 3.5 diskettes that once were common modes of storing information, the memory stick was the brainchild of Sony Corporation. Over time, the concept was licensed to a number of other companies that produce computer-related equipment.
In its earliest incarnations, the memory stick was understood to be a quick and easy way to store larger files than could be accommodated with the older diskettes. The actual size of the original memory sticks has been described as similar to that of a flat AA battery, and the memory capacity was anywhere from four to ten times that of the standard diskette. When the first sticks came out in 1998, some of the higher end ones had a data storage capacity that was equal to many of the computer memory capacities.
Earlier versions of the memory stick were equipped with a ten-pin connector setup that continues to be the standard today. Sony placed a special slot on their line of Vaio laptops that were especially configured to accommodate the memory stick design. However, adapters were soon developed that allowed the memory stick to function with any laptop that contained a PC card. The device was touted as a much simpler means of storing large data files than the relatively bulky flash memory devices of the day.
Over the years, memory sticks have continued to evolve. Newer releases of the stick allowed the device to keep pace with the increased demand for music and video files, and other types of data storage that have become commonplace. As recently as 2006, Sony actively worked with others to release a smaller version of the memory stick that included a detachable adapter and featured a capacity for storage that far exceeds the original design.