Pogoplug: A new device for new lifestyles?
One way to score a big hit in technology is to come up with not just a new gadget, but a new category. Of course, that is also a recipe for failure, because there's a risk that consumers don't think they need what you're selling.
That's the risk for Cloud Engines, a San Francisco company that makes something called the Pogoplug. They're calling it a "multimedia sharing device," in the hopes that people are looking for an easier way to share all the videos, photos and music that are now defining their digital lives.
The Pogoplug sells for $129. You plug it into your router, and then you plug a storage device -- like an external hard drive or a flash drive -- into it. You have then created what company Chief Executive Daniel Putterman calls "your personal cloud." Given the way the "cloud computing" buzzword reached the stratosphere this year, he may be onto something.
The sharing part comes in letting you give anyone access to your stuff without your ever having to upload it or e-mail it.
Engadget liked an earlier version of the product but wished it had Wi-Fi and ports for extra devices. Today the company announces the extra ports, but still no Wi-Fi.
And I can report that photos and material shared with me from a Pogoplug device worked seamlessly, like looking at any website.
-- Dan Fost