All Thumbs: Man Says He Has USB Drive in Prosthetic Finger

Man says he has prosthetic finger with built-in thumb drive.

ByABC News
March 18, 2009, 1:21 PM

March 19, 2009— -- There is, we'd better warn, something of a gross-out factor to many people about this story, although there are others who seem to think it's pretty cool.

It is the story of Jerry Jalava, 29, a self-described software developer from Finland who lost part of his left ring finger in May in a motorcycle accident.

Now, he says, he wears a prosthetic finger made of silicone, which looks fairly natural -- except that he can peel back the tip to uncover a USB drive tucked inside.

Jalava's finger of the future has become a small Internet sensation.

Some of the photos on his page at have been viewed more than 80,000 times.

The USB drive -- also called a flash drive or thumb drive or memory stick -- contains 2 gigabytes of memory and can plug into almost any currently sold computer. Jalava keeps several computer programs on it, he says, and hopes eventually for an upgraded version.

"My friends take it same way as I do," he told ABC News. "First, they are terrified, hearing about the lost finger, but then they are relieved and laughing after hearing about the USB finger."

"It is not attached permanently into my body; it is removable prosthetic, which has USB memory stick inside it," he writes, in slightly broken English, on his blog "When I'm using the USB, I just leave my finger inside the slot and pick it up after I'm ready."

Jalava said he has two different prosthetic fingertips that he can use. The other is conventional, made to look like a natural finger, but Jalava says he does not plan to keep it that way.

"Right now I use it mostly when I need to do network inspections or memory testing on computers in our office," he said, "but when I get the latest one ready, it will be my single sign-on to my computer and my e-mails."

All this began one day last spring, Jalava says, when he was driving his motorcycle home from work. He hit a deer, slid a couple of hundred feet and lost the tip of his finger. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in nearby Helsinki.