The vault looks like your everyday micro SD card, with sizes ranging from 4GB to 64GB announced. The difference being is that this little memory chip has a miniature computer built in. Powered by an ARM processor running ARTOs, an operating system focused on privacy and data security, the chip is designed to allow you a full range of security features such as batch encryption and hardware random number generator. The chip even features a NFC (near field communication) chip and an antenna to allow authorization and authentication services for the device its plugged into.
With all the new security features, allowing a more secure way to store your data on the go the device is designed to be compatible with everything from Android and Linux to Windows and OS X. With no additional software required the chip can be plugged into any micro SD readers and will be picked up as a generic storage device with a standard file system, no additional work required.
Currently, the device is being aimed at companies, with their first version being used internally at Google, however, they have not ruled out plans to make a consumer-focused version in the future. With the release of the Open Source Development Kit they hope that people can test and understand the hardware before they invest more time and finalise the details. In the demonstrator, Vault was used in a chat conversation, with vault taking care of encrypting and decrypting messages, meaning the phones used never actually had to use a key or algorithm, allowing secure communication easily.
With digital security such a big issue these days, generic hardware which can help encrypt everything like this are going to make a big difference to everyday users and giant corporations alike.
Thank you Tech Crunch for the information and images.