Plug creates a private “Dropbox” from any hard drive
Today Plug launched on Kickstarter about 4 hours ago with an innovate adapter that promises to cloud-connect any hard drive, which — when paired with their software — creates a Dropbox-like user experience. It’s already 40% funded, having raised $27,897 out of a $69,000 goal with 59 days to do.
Most people love Dropbox for the convenience and “it just works” aspect of the user experience, but the price adds up quickly if you have a lot of media…and who doesn’t? Plug promises to side-stop the cost issues via a one-time investment ($69 on Kickstarter and will be around $150 retail) for their smart adapter which connects to your network — and onto the internet — via Ethernet on one side, and to a hard disk via USB on the other. It’s the software that makes this setup shine though, because that’s where the “it just works” user experience can come to life, by giving users access to files over the internet, interfacing with various mobile devices, letting users choose which files are available for streaming vs. cached downloads for offline access, automatic backups with versioning, etc. In some ways, Plug reminds us of Space Monkey, a cloud storage and backup system we’ve covered before and which raised $350K on Kickstarter back in May.
The “it just works” user experience is critical here — and not an easy thing to get right. The software needs to work across platforms (desktop, mobile, hardware) and is a tricky thing to pull off. It will be interesting to see if Plug can pull it off. However for a Kickstarter price of $69, there’s not a lot of risk involved to check it out.
Though they talk about having “Plug apps” they’ve made no obvious commitment or statement about opening up the platform to 3rd party developers. We hope they do though! As a platform element for developers, if it was truly open, Plug could be a convenient, inexpensive cloud data element for the Internet of Everything and hackware hackers everywhere.
Check out Plug on Kickstarter today.