Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 17, 2013.

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More space, less moolah. Complete Cloud storage subscription service in one little device -- Space Monkey.

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Update: all subscriptions get 1 extra month of service for free, as a thanks for helping us reach 3x our funding goal.

The "skinny" on Space Monkey.

Space Monkey is the next generation cloud. For $10 per month, you get a full Terabyte (1000 Gigabytes) of storage you can use anywhere, any time. Space Monkey does the work behind the scenes to make your data safe and secure, using the entire network of Space Monkey devices around the world to store encrypted pieces of data in a way that makes data loss a thing of the past. Space Monkey is up to 60x faster than any other cloud service you've used (or heard of). 

Space Monkey is like nothing you've seen before. We're so close to putting this service in your hands. Your support here on Kickstarter will change how the world stores data forever.

We’ve all heard that The Cloud is the future.

The industry doesn’t pass up on any opportunity to tell us about how much better our lives will be when we put everything into this place they call The Cloud. And they are right in a lot of ways; when you move your data to the Cloud, you get access to it from anywhere, the ability to share it with others, and a second copy somewhere for safe-keeping.

But maybe it’s not working for everyone.

If you have a lot of data, you’ve found that the traditional Cloud is expensive ($800+/year for 1TB). Even if that’s in your personal budget, you’ve discovered that pushing 1TB of data to the Cloud can take months or years -- and just as long to get back out. That’s because most cloud services can’t afford unlimited bandwidth and resources for heavy users, so they cap transfer speeds.

That just doesn’t cut it.

You need fast upload and access to your stuff from anywhere, with any device. You need your stuff to be safe. You need to be able to share and collaborate with ease. Why isn’t there a Cloud solution that is addressing our exploding demand for storage? The Cloud is tethered to an albatross: the datacenter.

The cloud is datacenters.

Everything in the Cloud today is housed in datacenters. These are high-cost buildings tightly packed with expensive computer equipment. They need costly fire suppression systems, diesel backup generators, expansive power distribution systems, premium network equipment, biometric access controls, security patrols, and consume vast amounts of electricity and air-conditioning. They require 24/7 staffing and Network Operations Centers. The ongoing daily costs of keeping datacenters running is exorbitant compared to the actual cost of the hard drives that store your data in the Cloud.

Because of these operational costs, the only way to make any of this affordable is to pack 1000s of users onto each server and millions of users through each Internet connection and limit how much you can actually use (either through hard limits on storage amount or by throttling your upload/download speeds). In other words, slow speeds at high cost.

It’s time to change how the world stores data, forever.

What if we took the Cloud out of the datacenter and put it a little box that you plug-in at your house? What if we put software on it that allows it to cooperate with millions of other devices plugged in all over the globe to create a storage network that not only is orders of magnitude cheaper than datacenters, but is also more reliable, faster, and better for the environment?

Space Monkey is the answer.

A terabyte is a lot of cloud storage. You could store approximately 250,000 photos in the Space Monkey network. That's roughly the same as storing 130 DVD's in one place.

Because Space Monkey provides a local device on your own network, you can transfer data 15x-60x faster than services like Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive or iCloud.

When you aren’t on the same local network as your Space Monkey device, you’ll still experience speeds as fast or faster than the traditional cloud. Since Space Monkey’s network resources scale perfectly with the number of users (each new Space Monkey device has its own network connection, hard drive, and CPU), your share of the total available network capacity doesn’t shrink when new users flood the system. And, for download speed, Space Monkey can use multiple connections from different locations simultaneously to provide better-than-datacenter performance.

Not having a costly datacenter means Space Monkey can save you money. For $10/month, you get a 1TB Space Monkey storage device.

Even better for users that stick with us -- this cost advantage widens over time. Since Space Monkey doesn't have to pay fixed datacenter costs, the decreasing price of hard disk storage can be passed directly on to you.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, datacenters in New York were flooded and some popular services went down. It’s not the first time that bad weather has caused outages of cloud services (or even worse, permanent data loss), and it's not the last.

Because Space Monkey splits your files up into little pieces after they’ve been encrypted and spreads those security-locked pieces out to geographically diverse locations, it is largely immune to Mother Nature-caused outages. This is the same design philosophy used when the Internet itself was originally created and similar to the architecture used for email. This design means that the Internet continues to work even when individual lines are cut or servers go down, and that “the email system” as a whole has never “gone down” (even though individual email endpoints can and do fail).

It’s also what makes your data stay safe, even if your house burns down or lots of the other devices in the Space Monkey network are stolen or destroyed. It serves as the ultimate in data protection.

Datacenters aren’t exactly helping the Earth. So when you use the traditional Cloud today, you may be unwittingly contributing to the problem.

Space Monkey is passively cooled by ambient air in the home in the summer. The Space Monkey device has no high-speed fan, and its embedded CPU consumes a very small amount of energy in comparison to the high-powered, AC-sucking, high-speed forced-air cooled servers in traditional datacenters.

The net effect is a minimal footprint on the environment.

So how does it work?

Space Monkey provides a simple folder on your desktop in which you can upload all of your stuff. No need to shuffle things in and out to stay under skimpy quotas. Everything in one place.

Items that show up in this folder on one computer show up in another, automatically.

Folders and files can be shared with other users.

Once data is in your Space Monkey, the device continues working for you in the background. It’s in charge of encrypting your files and making redundant, secure copies of them to store in the network. You don’t have to leave your desktop uploading data overnight, or your laptop open waiting for a transfer - that’s Space Monkey’s job.

You can get to everything over the web, too.

Coming soon: thumbnailing, gallery views, streaming, media feeds, and more!

And Mobile? Mobile is the center of everything.

If you are like the average consumer, you already generate most of the data you own with the HD video camera on your phone. Space Monkey makes it easy to get all that stuff into the storage network, automatically uploading your content as you create it. You can also access all of your data from your smartphone.

Join us, and change the world for the better.

Back this project and not only help yourself to a better way to store your own data, but join the Space Monkey storage network and change how the world stores data, forever.

Here is the current status of the project:

Remote Monitoring Software system: functional today, with devices reporting in with deep instrumentation of both internal system performance and core OS-level metrics. Completed in Summer 2012. New metrics are added as needed, old ones deprecated.

Remote Software Management system: devices automatically update with enhancements when they become available. Completed in Summer 2012. Ongoing improvements always being tested.

Distributed Storage System: all major components that make storing data safe and usable are present. There are still many opportunities for improving the performance and efficiency of the associated subsystems.

Desktop Clients: functional and usable versions of clients for OSX, Windows, and Linux exist and early users are helping us find ways to improve them. In internal testing since Summer of 2012. In external Alpha testing since late 2012 (See above demo).

Mobile Clients: client for Android exists today but is in internal test only at this point. iOS version will enter internal test soon.

Web Client: web client is functional as shown above. Reliability and bug fixes are being constantly worked on. Initial functionality completed in February 2013 (See above demo).

Other network-ready integrations: Support for DLNA, SMB, and other local network protocols for making your files easier to access and use from your existing devices such as web-enabled TVs and set-top boxes will enter internal test soon.

Mechanical: All mechanical components including PCB, plastic covers, and tooling for the product were completed in early 2013. Device has been drop tested and heat tested.

Electrical: Circuit design has gone through 3 revisions and declared ready for production. Initial run of 270 units will be completed in April of 2013, production at scale (including identification of component suppliers for complete bill of materials, contract manufacturing, etc). FCC and UL certifications underway in Spring of 2013.

current version of Space Monkey PCB
current version of Space Monkey PCB
v1 of the Space Monkey PCB
v1 of the Space Monkey PCB
v2 of the Space Monkey PCB
v2 of the Space Monkey PCB

Alpha Test Network: deployed on off the shelf devices manufactured by Seagate, currently at over 170 devices worldwide.

Production Schedule:

Phase 1:  Detailed Mechanical Design - Completed January 2013

Phase 2:  Vendor Selection - Completed March 2013

Phase 3:  Engineering Validation (10-20 units) - Completed March 2013

Phase 4:  Design Validation (100 - 200 units) - Scheduled completion May 2013

Phase 5:  Process Validation (5,000 units) - Scheduled completion June 2013

Phase 6:  Mass Production (TBD units) - June 2013

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Space Monkey is a software technology company with a hardware component. Our most ambitious and challenging problems lie with software. That isn’t to say that hardware is without its own challenges, but our focus as a company is on solving the very difficult and complex problems associated with making a distributed software stack run on top of equipment in consumers’ homes intuitive, reliable, and safe. To address these challenges, we’ve assembled a team of employees with deep distributed software design experience from companies like Google, Mozy, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and Microsoft, and have relied heavily on hardware experts who helped create the iPod and the Nest learning thermostat.

The most significant risk to hardware manufacturing is managing the suppliers of over 100 components that make up the Space Monkey device. We've made relationships with all these suppliers and have already begun small prototype runs. We can't predict future issues that these suppliers might have delivering components on time, but we are extremely confident in the companies we've chosen to work with to deliver the Space Monkey device.

We have not yet delivered more than a few hundred units to customers, and will need to scale not only the manufacturing process, but the distributed software system, the support organization to help customers with issues that may arise, the fulfillment organization to get devices into user hands, and reverse-fulfillment processes to handle returns and defects.

Current estimated delivery dates are based on the first 5,000 units. We promise to communicate if adjustments are necessary due to demand.

Delivery of units to international customers depends on regulatory approvals, and may be delayed past the estimated dates listed in the Rewards section.

FAQ

  • Yes! Super safe. Here’s why: when you put files in Space Monkey, you not only have a copy of everything on your Space Monkey device, but each file is chopped up into tiny pieces, encrypted, then stored to dozens of locations outside of your home, in such a way that even if half of those locations were destroyed, all your files would still be safe.

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  • All your data remains safe, and we ship you a new unit. We’ve designed Space Monkey with this in mind. The redundant network copy of your data is there to protect you against failure or loss of your device. If the unit is defective or the hard drive fails, you just ship it back to us and get a replacement.

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  • We'll give you a pro-rated refund on your subscription once the device is sent back.

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  • The Space Monkey device is integral to providing a low cost cloud experience. It also ensures your data is managed and protected across the network.

    Not only do you get fast upload to this device (no need to leave your laptop running for days), it gives you incredibly fast access to your data from other devices on your local network through existing protocols. Future protocols we hope to enable include SMB/CIFS file sharing, DLNA, AFP, TimeMachine, etc.

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  • Space Monkey works hard to only use excess bandwidth in your home, so as not to adversely affect your streaming video services, gaming, etc.

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  • The software will provide throttle controls to limit the amount of bandwidth used in both directions (up and down) if this is an issue for you.

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  • This is a chance for us to get the product in front of people who are passionate about trying new things, and a chance for backers to be not only customers, but partners in a project that will change their lives, and the world, for the better.

    Like some other Kickstarter projects, the company has already received funding from venture capitalists and angel investors. That money has allowed us to create the product that you can see in the pictures and videos above. Your pre-order will allow us to crank up production of units to a larger audience faster and sooner than would be possible otherwise.

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  • The first thing that happens is the file is copied, securely, to your Space Monkey device. Prior to storing the file to the remote distributed network, it is encrypted using the time-proven and industry standard Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). After it is encrypted, it is split up into many smaller pieces, and then additional pieces are generated by means of an erasure code. The erasure code ensures that the file is safe from deletion, even if many of the locations where the small pieces are stored become unavailable. Once stored in the network, Space Monkey continues to monitor the health of each piece of the file. When too many of the pieces go offline for too long, it regenerates the missing pieces and re-stores them to new locations. In this way, your data self-heals and remains safe.

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  • We have super talented industrial designers and a bunch of potential designs. Pledge big and we'll let you work with a designer to come up with something not even the "Jone's" can get their hands on.

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  • During normal operation, 7-9W. To give you an idea of the impact on your electric bill: at Space Monkey HQ in Utah, operating the device would cost about $0.016 per day, or about $0.49/month.

    Note that this is *much* more environmentally friendly than running the same drive in a datacenter, where forced air cooling, diesel backup generators, fire suppression systems, supporting networking equipment, 24x7 staffing, etc quickly run up the energy costs and environmental footprint.

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  • Currently, no. You can share access to the data on the device from as many clients as you want, however, by sharing the account login information.

    In the future, yes. We are still thinking hard about how to implement this in a way that doesn't complicate the experience for users.

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  • You get 1TB of space, but the hard drive in the units is actually 2 or 3TB in size to provide enough capacity in the network for redundancy to protect your data.

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  • Yes. Pinning ensures that you have access to files or folders even when you don't have an Internet connection.

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  • 1TB (we'd add this to the reward description, but those can't be changed once published)

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  • Yes, just add another $10 to get a tshirt (on top of the $10 you added for international shipping, if you are outside the U.S.).

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  • Yes, there will be an upgrade path later, but we haven't defined exactly how it will work yet Possibilities range from simply paying an additional $10/mo and using your existing device, to replacing your device, to adding a second device. How we deliver will depend in large part on some things we learn about excess capacity in the storage network itself as it rolls out over the next few months.

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  • International Backers will receive a standard EURO (CEE 7) power supply, capable of supporting multiple voltages. Most locales that are incompatible with that prong configuration will require additional adapters. We are still looking into the feasibility of including these ourselves, but there is a good chance that you may need to provide your own.

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  • Yes, you will be able to specify if you prefer white or black matte in the survey at the end of Kickstarter.

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    89 backers

    It might seem like a small donation, but not to us. We'll show our thanks by personally thanking you via Facebook, Twitter or email. You will also be included in product updates and future product decisions we make through surveys and other means. Thank you for your support.

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    Exclusive Space Monkey tshirt: When history has been written and we've changed how the world stores data forever you can say to your kids, "I helped make that happen and I've got the tshirt to prove it."

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    The AFTER Early Bird Special: For those of you who missed out but are still pledging on the first day we want to reward you (if you already pledged higher feel free to change your pledge) Thank you for your support. 1Terabyte of Space Monkey service for 12 months (device included in your subscription).

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    2-years of 1TB service. That's 3+ months of free service for buying an extra year upfront. It's like summer vacation from elementary school: no homework all summer long!

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    Kickstarter Exclusive: Our designers have put together a few special edition designs that are only available during this campaign. Along with owning this special edition device you'll get 2 Terabytes of storage for five-years of service. See special editions section. We'll throw in the exclusive tshirt too.

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    Work with our designer to come up with your own branded Space Monkey device, a platinum subscription and a grab bag of baller Space Monkey swag.

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