A tiny battery powered adapter that makes any USB storage device wireless, accessible to Apple iPad, iPhone and Internet (e.g. Dropbox)
Thanks for looking. Our wonderful backers help made CloudFTP the 3rd most funded Kickstarter Technology project as of January 6, 2012. Please visit our new home at http://www.cloudftp.com where you can get more product information, purchase the product and seek technical support. Do also visit our the CloudFTP discussion forum at http://forum.cloudftp.com. Cheers!
USB mass storage devices (USB hard drives, flash drives, card readers, digital cameras etc.) are one of most commonly used digital storage media. Yet it is almost impossible to connect a USB storage device to recent inventions like the iPad, iPhone or Cloud without much hassle and going through a computer.
CloudFTP is a pocket size adapter that can turn any USB storage device into a wireless file server, sharing files with WiFi-enabled devices (iPad, iPhone, computer etc.). It can also automatically connect to the Internet to backup and synchronize your USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.
How It Works?
CloudFTP features a powered USB port (just like on the computer) which connects and powers any USB mass storage device (USB hard drives, flash drives, card readers, digital cameras etc.)
Ad-hoc (peer-to-peer) mode
By default, CloudFTP creates its own (ad-hoc) wireless WiFi network to share the connected USB data. Users just need to join this network from their WiFi-enabled devices to access the USB storage device wirelessly by means of a HTML5 web app, dedicated iOS/Android app or FTP client. This network works independently of the Internet and other existing wireless networks.
Infrastructure (Internet) mode
Alternatively, CloudFTP can also join an existing (infrastructure) wireless WiFi network to share with devices on the same network. CloudFTP will automatically connect to the Internet (if present) to backup/sync the USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.
How are we going to do it?
Marrying our expertise in our earlier portable storage (HyperDrive) and power (HyperJuice) products, we developed a patent pending solution based on the high performance, energy efficient and cost effective ARM9 microprocessor, the same processor that is used in some of the most powerful mobile devices today. Our unique software drives the powerful processor that links up the USB connection to a fast wireless WiFi modem, all powered by an energy efficient power management system, in the tiniest possible product footprint.
The end result is a single, compact, portable, affordable plug-n-play solution that bridges USB storage and the wireless Cloud. Just plug the USB storage device into CloudFTP and the data will instantly be accessible wirelessly to the Cloud, iPad, iPhone and other WiFi-enabled devices.
How will the funds be used?
We plan to sell the CloudFTP at retail for $99.95. After all, products with similar but lesser components are selling for $89.95 http://beagleboard.org/bone.
However we decided to offer the CloudFTP to our Kickstarter backers for a very low price of $69 so that more people can enjoy what we believe is a really useful product. However to offer at such a low price, we need to achieve a critical volume at launch, hence the $100,000 funding goal. Yes the funding goal is high but our earlier products have sold for more in a shorter span of time, so we are confident of achieving this target.
We have already committed in designing the solution and making the working prototypes. Your funding will help make mass production of the CloudFTP and its offering at a low price a reality.
Our Progress So Far
We have since developed the first working prototype which we demonstrated the proof of concept in the video above. We are happy to announce that the first prototype and concept of CloudFTP has won this Kickstarter project the prestigious CES 2012 Design & Engineering Showcase Honors.
Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 32 product categories.
We are confident that this will be the first of many awards to come and with your support, CloudFTP will be our best product ever.
Features at a glance
- Connects to any USB mass storage compliant device
- 2600mAh li-ion rechargeable battery powers USB port and device up to 5 hours.
- High performance, low power consumption ARM9 microprocessor
- USB data is shared over a secure wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n WiFi network
- Creates its own (ad-hoc) wireless network to share and stream media for up to 3 WiFi-enabled device (e.g. iPad, iPhone, computer) at the same time.
- Alternatively, it can join an existing (infrastructure) WiFi network to share files with other devices on the same network.
- Automatically connect to the Internet in infrastructure WiFi mode to backup and sync data with Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox, box.net.
- Processor: Texas Instrument ARM9
- LCD: Mono 132 x 32 pixel
- Battery: 2600mAh Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
- Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
- USB Port: High Speed 480Mbps, Powered 5V/1A USB Host
- Software: HTML5 Web browser based, iOS and Android app
- Supported file system: FAT32, NTFS, HFS, HFS+, exFAT, EXT 2/3/4
- Wireless: Supports WiFi 802.11b/g/n "ad-hoc" and "infrastructure" mode
- Dimensions: 2.95" x 2.28" x 0.87" / 75 x 58 x 22mm
- Weight: 3.8oz / 109g
How does iPad, iPhone or any WiFi enabled device access the CloudFTP and the connected USB storage device?
The iPad, iPhone or any WiFi enabled device has to be in the same network as CloudFTP in order to access it.
Option 1: The iPad, iPhone or WiFi enabled device can join the ad-hoc wireless network hotspot created by CloudFTP or
Option 2: CloudFTP can join an existing wireless network (e.g. home, office, Internet cafe WiFi) which the iPad, iPhone or WiFi enabled device is also connected to.
Once connected, you can access CloudFTP and the connected USB storage device from any web browser just by entering the IP web address listed on the CloudFTP LCD screen. This will fire up a web browser application that allows you to change the settings of CloudFTP as well as access the contents of the USB storage device like Mac OS Finder or Windows Explorer. We will also release a dedicated iOS and Android apps that will perform the same function as the web app.
CloudFTP is also compatible with apps that support FTP like Goodreader, Goodplayer, iFiles to name a few. You can use these apps to download, upload, open, access, manage files on the USB storage device.
A USB charging cable is provided.
Yes you can connect CloudFTP to multiple USB devices via a USB hub. The only thing you need to consider is that CloudFTP only outputs 5W (5V/1A) through its USB port so if you are connecting multiple power hungry USB devices, you need to use a powered USB hub.
CloudFTP WiFi bandwidth can support video streaming for up to 3 devices at the same time. For less bandwidth intensive operations (e.g. accessing documents), you can connect more devices/users
The following steps are demonstrated in our product demo video.
CloudFTP by default will create an ad-hoc WiFi hotspot. The WiFi hotspot SSID name and password will be displayed on the LCD screen. Using a WiFi-enabled device, you can connect to the WiFi hotspot created by CloudFTP and access the CloudFTP web app from any web browser. From the web app, you can see a list of WiFi networks in the vicinity of CloudFTP and join them. If the WiFi network is secured, you will be prompted to enter a password. Once you confirm, CloudFTP will restart and join the new network. When you are out of range of the new network or if you reset CloudFTP, it will revert back to the default ad-hoc network mode again.
If you are interested in distributing or reselling the CloudFTP in the U.S., please send a message to the project creator.
If you are interested in distributing or reselling the CloudFTP outside the U.S., please drop an email to email@example.com
Please note that we will only make the CloudFTP available to distributors and resellers after we have fulfilled ALL orders from our kickstarter backers. If you wish to enjoy the same priority, do consider pledging for the priority reseller reward.
CloudFTP is designed as a portable "bring anywhere, use anywhere" device and we want to make it as tiny and affordable as possible. An ethernet port will increase the product size and cost significantly and we feel will not serve the majority of CloudFTP users.
USB 3.0 would be overkill since USB 2.0 access speed (480Mbps) is faster than most WiFi 801.11n data rates (typically lesser than 480Mbps). Since USB 3.0 devices are backward compatible with USB 2.0, CloudFTP would have no issue connecting to USB 3.0 devices.
The CloudFTP web app uses HTML5 WebKit which at this moment is only supported by Google Chrome and Apple Safari web browsers.