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Swiss Army Knife connects with the future

The Swiss Army knife just went high-tech (Victorinox) swissinfo.ch

The Swiss Army knife has taken a leap into cyberspace with the latest addition to its ever-expanding range of tools.

This content was published on March 17, 2004 - 09:34

One of the knife’s two makers has released a version with a memory key that plugs into computers. It will be presented this week at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany.

The “Memory USB” army knife includes a “flash memory stick”, a piece of technology which has become increasingly popular with computer users over the past few months.

It means owners can store data such as presentations or database files for easy transport.

Victorinox says its latest model follows a trend it began a few years ago, when it started including electronic features as part of its pocket knives.

“These memory sticks have become small enough for us to integrate them into our knives,” Urs Wyss, Victorinox’s marketing director, told swissinfo.

“People need the mobility offered by these small memory sticks, especially when travelling,” he added. “You don’t need to take a computer with you when you have a flash memory.”

Computer users

The company says that while its customers don’t necessarily fit any specific profile, the new model is aimed at computer users more than anybody else.

And Victorinox is counting on memory sticks becoming an important tool for business users.

Wyss admits that competition in the flash memory market is fierce but he is confident that brand awareness and high quality features will pay off.

“The flash memory is produced by a Swiss company and our army knives are known around the world,” he told swissinfo.

The Swiss Army knife is renowned the world over for its versatility and comes with a huge variety of tools depending on which model you choose.

Produced only by the Wenger and Victorinox companies, there are versions for climbers, snowboarders and skateboarders, and even for computer technicians.

Wyss adds that the decision to introduce electronic elements was borne of necessity.

“We have about 35 mechanical tools on our different knives and it is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with new ones,” he told swissinfo.

“New electronic technology gives us more possibilities to develop our product line further.”

swissinfo, Scott Capper

In brief

More than 75 Swiss firms are taking part in this year's CeBIT information and technology fair in Hanover, Germany.

In all, around 6,400 exhibitors from 71 countries will be displaying their wares during the seven-day fair.

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Key facts

The new Swiss Army knife with a USB memory stick will be presented at the Hanover CeBIT computer fair.
There will be different versions, including one without blades for air travel.
The standard version will cost SFr88 ($68.80) and will have a memory with 64MB or 128MB of storage space.
The memory stick is produced by the Swissbit company, a spin-off of Siemens.

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