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More space, less moolah. Complete Cloud storage subscription service in one little device -- Space Monkey.
More space, less moolah. Complete Cloud storage subscription service in one little device -- Space Monkey.
2,989 backers pledged $349,625 to help bring this project to life.

Features, Delivery, and General Status Update

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Space Monkey was recently reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, which called it "The Choice for Digital Storage." Expect to see more reviews in your favorite publications soon.

Here are some highlights of things we've finished since the last software update, and things we're expecting to be done soon:

Direct import from desktop

Some of you have noticed that using the desktop clients to dump a large amount of data all at once can temporarily eat local disk space, which then triggers a condition where uploads slow down. This happens because we use a local cache to stage files before they are pushed to the device. In regular usage where a few files are added at a time, this scheme significantly improves performance. In the case where more files are being added than can fit in the local cache, however, this doesn't help; it uses more disk space than necessary, and slows things down.

We've taken the first step to address this problem -- and to make it easier to get things into Space Monkey without having to drag-n-drop them -- by adding a right-click item for folders and files. No matter where files reside on your filesystem, you can right-click on them and "Import to Space Monkey" (see screenshots below). Using this feature skips the local cache, which means syncing to the device can occur faster and your local free disk space is preserved. However, since syncing to the device happens without the cache via this method, it does usually result in a copy dialog. This feature is available in the latest Windows and OSX clients today.

This is a first step. We have more work to do. In the future, we are exploring ways to automatically determine if files should go into the local cache first or straight to the device based on some internal heuristics, without users needing to remember two different methods for getting them into Space Monkey. Both methods (dragging and right-click) are here to stay -- how they work under the hood will continue to evolve.

Space Monkey Import Menu on OSX
Space Monkey Import Menu on OSX
Space Monkey Import Menu in Windows
Space Monkey Import Menu in Windows

Performance

Which brings us to performance. We are currently clocking speeds of up to 10mbps from clients to device when on the same local network. Most traditional cloud services range in speeds from 250kbps to 1+mbps, so we are 10x to 40x faster than these services today.

However, we're not done. There are usage scenarios that cause our performance to drop significantly from the maximums we know the system is capable of, and there is more performance to be squeezed from our architecture and implementation. This is a major focus of effort internally for us right now, and we expect it to be for some time.

If you are experiencing slow upload from desktop to device, please be patient as we work to improve that. We're interested to hear from you when you experience parts of the system that cause pain -- and joy.

Mobile clients

Clients for both iOS and Android are available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Links to download are available from your accounts page. iOS devices join OSX and Windows desktop clients in being able to do the initial device setup when you first plug in. This functionality will be added to Android soon.

Thumbnailing

For those that used the product in its earliest alpha stages, you'll note some major recent improvements in thumbnailing, across all clients. This required some work both on the storage backend and the client software on various platforms. Clients are now able to read and generate thumbnails much faster than they could before on all clients, and thumbnail capability was recently added to the web client.

As with performance, this is an ongoing effort. Look for many more improvements in the coming months, including improvements to the visual display of thumbnails and better ways to access and share your photos and videos online.

Access your files when your device is offline

One of the core promises of Space Monkey Technology is that your data is not only safe even if your own device fails, but still accessible. This feature, which we refer to as "network reads," currently works in the web app and mobile clients. Note that network reads only work for data which has synced out to the network. You can see how much of your data has made it to the network by looking at the lower right corner of the display in the web app (it's normal to almost always have some data waiting to go out, since any updates to files result in more changes being queued). If your device goes offline, the web app will let you know that it is switching to network reads and then give you access to all the files that have been fully synced.

Network reads are currently available via the Web, iOS, and Android. They will soon be available on the desktop as well.

In the future, clients may switch automatically to network reads without ceremony; we have already noticed that streaming large amounts of data can be much faster from the network than from a single home device, and there are other situations where this may be a better experience, too.

Multi-user support

Work progresses on making it possible to associate more than one distinct account per device. This will allow those of you who have family members in your household that you'd like to share space with to do so without granting access to all the same files.

Shared Folders

We've been using shared folders for collaboration internally for a number of months now, and are still working out a few kinks prior to making them available more widely.

Free accounts

Work has also begun on free accounts, so that you can invite others into collaborative folders without them needing their own Space Monkey device.

Upgrade to Own

We're very happy with the reaction we've had to the upgrade offer that has been made to the $99-$129 reward tiers. Similar offers will be going out to tiers > $129 soon. Please remember, upgrading to own is 100% optional, 100% your choice. We also appreciate the feedback we've received on these offers that have helped us to improve them. More to come.

International Units

We've received final reports on CE testing and believe devices in the next manufacturing batch will be ready to ship to International backers. We had intended the first run of units to include shipments outside of the US, and had even included EU-style power supplies in hundreds of units. We've been busy manually unpacking these so that they can be sold domestically while we wait for the next run of devices to be completed for delivery to International backers.

The hold up on CE compliance came down to a grounding issue on screws inside the device. This had no impact on performance or safety, and did not adversely affect compliance inside the United States. All future runs of devices include a fix for this, the first of which we expect to happen in January or February. That run of units will include devices for International backers.

We know it may be little consolation, but Kickstarter is -- to date -- the only opportunity International customers have had to get their hands on Space Monkey. It pains us that we are fulfilling your units later than U.S. backers, but we hope you find some consolation in the fact that you will be the first outside of the U.S. to receive Space Monkey. We field inquiries almost every day from potential customers outside the U.S. who want to know when they can buy a Space Monkey, and they consider you lucky to have gotten in at a time when they cannot.

Waves A-E completed

We've ordered all of Waves D and E to ship, and almost all of these are either now delivered or in transit. This completes domestic orders, minus 2TB backers. 2TB units have been manufactured and are on a ship being transported to our warehouse.

The Future

We're very excited to watch the network grow as you receive your units and bring them online. We passed 1 petabyte of total storage in the network some time ago, and are excited to watch this quickly hit 10PB over the next few months. There are a lot of things we want to do with the software to make your Space Monkey experience more awesome, and are excited about what the next months and years hold. Thank you for helping us bring this to life!

Alexander Kiss, Michael Newell, and 20 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Darío Puertas Otones on February 16, 2014

      I add one to the people waiting for updates on delivery schedule

    2. Edwin Law on February 16, 2014

      updates please?

      I think there are a lot of us who have yet to receive our devices.

    3. Chris Maki on February 13, 2014

      There's been a bit of a lull since we've seen another wave go out, what's going on guys?

    4. James Lunt on February 6, 2014

      Hi, as Per said, it would be good to get some updates, we're now 7 months behind the estimated shipping date when I put my money down, a bit more transparency would be really appreciated.

      Thanks
      James

    5. Per Mortensen on February 4, 2014

      Hi,

      Is there any clarity on when the production run will take place for the International backers? I can very much appreciate that there are many factor that can cause delays. And I understand that we did really buy a product, but supported the creation of company's first product. But I hope the people behind SpaceMonkey appreciate, that our support helped them realise their dream or goal, and one way to say thank you would be to be a little more forthcoming with information...

      Kind regards,
      Per Mortensen

    6. Otto Mok on January 29, 2014

      Is there an estimate on Wave F?

    7. James Lunt on January 26, 2014

      Still though, a rough timescale? Are we talking February? April? June?
      An updated estimate would be appreciated, even if it's not a guarantee!

      Thanks

    8. Mark
      Superbacker
      on January 26, 2014

      Is there an option to upgrade the 1TB UK option to 2TB UK? I pledged $349 thinking it was a 2TB unit?

    9. Missing avatar

      Ron Leishman on January 26, 2014

      Is there a means whereby SpaceMonkey can be set to do smart updates of folders so that I don't have to physically be updating folders as I modify them on my desktop? I use another local backup solution as well that backs up automatically at a set time each day. It recognizes and backs up only those files that have been added or altered during the day.

    10. Space Monkey Creator on January 23, 2014

      The 2TB UK units will be produced at the same time as the 1TB UK units, or so I've been told, as we are no longer waiting on the hard drives but rather were waiting on the certification. Since we, as the update says, now have completed all of the necessary CE testing, these units will be produced in the next production run.

    11. James Lunt on January 23, 2014

      Hi there - like Jon I was just hoping for an update on timescales to the UK (though for the standard 1TB device).

      I've been putting off replacing my creaking backup solution since July seeing as that was the original estimated date and I'm dicing with death here :)

      I'm in Wave I.

      Thanks.

    12. Missing avatar

      Jon Irvine on January 18, 2014

      Hi. What's the ETA for 2TB UK delivery now?

    13. Space Monkey Creator on January 13, 2014

      @Ron: I'm not seeing that you backed us at a reward level that includes a device. For any further communication about this could you contact us at support@spacemonkey.com in case we end up talking about anything privacy-sensitive? Thanks!

    14. Missing avatar

      Ron Leishman on January 5, 2014

      Have all of of the units gone out to US backers? It's January 5 and I have yet to receive mine. Just wondering if I've missed anything. Your last update indicated that all domestic orders had been shipped.

    15. Alexandre Mennelet on December 26, 2013

      Merry christmas, I whish I had my SpaceMonkey under the tree, enjoy your christmas and return to work :)

    16. Space Monkey Creator on December 16, 2013

      @Don B, glad to hear. @Zach and @Scott, we're investigating.

      @JeffTK1, account information is centralized (billing, shipping, etc), so during account setup, devices have to contact our centralized account services and this information is available to us. Additionally, devices do report basic monitoring data to us, including things like CPU and memory usage and software stack metrics (see "We are metric loco" here http://blog.spacemonkey.com/posts/2013/01/28-Sneak-Peek-Three-Things.html). We do all this precisely so that we can help out when things don't work quite as expected. Don, Zack, and Scott below are good examples of this.

    17. Don B. on December 16, 2013

      @Jacob Anderson you want to recheck yours today. Mine appears to be working normal now. I have a happy Space Monkey.

    18. Zack Jones on December 16, 2013

      I would like for someone to contact me as well. I originally pledged for 2TB and then switched to 1TB. When the campaign ended I was still charged for 2TB. I contacted you guys and you said there would be no problem you'd ship me 2TB model. Guess what - my shipping notification shows 1TB model and the tracking number provided in my shipping notification shows NOT FOUND on the FedEx tracking site and I received my shipping notification on 10 December.

    19. Scott Nguyen on December 16, 2013

      Can someone contact me about mine? I opted to switch from a 2 Tb to a 1tb based on the last email. Since then, I havent been updated on any shipping. Thanks.

    20. Don B. on December 15, 2013

      @Jacob Anderson yep having the same problem hasn't work since I got it (12/12). 3 email to support and only got a quick email back stating my files may have not uploaded. I only add a couple now and it's still not working. As of right now I have a slow home NAS drive I can't access from outside of my network.

    21. Space Monkey Creator on December 15, 2013

      @Jarno: We do not have a Windows Phone client at this time, but we will absolutely develop one depending on users' demand!

      @JeffTK1: Well, we can see if your device's hardware ID has checked in on our network and downloaded its software updates.

      @Tobias: We know the wait is frustrating, and we're definitely sorry about that! We still cannot ship to international customers, though we hope to start production on devices capable of meeting CE standards soon! Though, reduced rates? We've transitioned to a purchase model that we have also offered to all of our 1TB Kickstarter backers, but they are not at reduced rates.

      @Jacob/Jeffrey: This is a known problem that we're working very hard to solve as quickly as possible. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience! If you have technical support issues, please contact us at support@spacemonkey.com so that we can update you on the progress of remedying your problem.

      @Jim R. Moore: Similarly, if you want a refund, please contact us at support@spacemonkey.com so we can get that started for you.

    22. Missing avatar

      Jeffrey Sue on December 15, 2013

      I'm having the same problem as Jacob Anderson.

    23. Missing avatar

      Michal Todorovic on December 15, 2013

      Nice update. Got my space monkey but haven't been able to set it up yet. Looking forward to it.

    24. Jacob Anderson on December 15, 2013

      I'm curious as to why I can do syncing even with clients that exist outside the network but the mobile app always says my space monkey is offline and if I want to use the backup, which also fails. The web site does this as well.

    25. Tobias "betabrain" A. on December 15, 2013

      What about international 2 TB backers?

      -- I've seen that you are now giving away devices at reduced rates to regular customers. Hint, hint! Being a (still waiting) Kickstarter backer is starting to frustrate people - as you probably know. How about some x-mas news? :-)

    26. JeffTK1 on December 15, 2013

      To me, the logical follow up to your (Space Monkey) post in the comment in response to Jim is exactly what information are you monitoring about users? If you are not sure what comment I am talking about, see this screenshot http://jtk.bz/hVQo

    27. Jarno Peschier on December 15, 2013

      One quick question from a non-US backer (from the Netherlands) about mobile clients: please tell me you are not (totally) ignoring Windows Phone platform?

    28. Space Monkey Creator on December 15, 2013

      Hi Jim, our system says you've never set up your device. Is it still in the box?

    29. Jim R. Moore on December 15, 2013

      How can I return my unit and get my original investment back?