Co-written with Travis Arbon
I can’t remember the last time I thoroughly read the user policy agreement on one of my web/cloud services or software updates-and companies count on that. With all the concern about data mining, scraping and using our personal images or info for corporate gain, a group of former Intel engineers joined forces to put control back in your hands, literally. The Egg, a personalized web server, aims to solve the issue of relying on big data companies for cloud storage, without the privacy concerns or monthly fees.
Thomas Martis, co-founder of Eggcyte, said the idea for The Egg came as a result of concern over his experience with the policies of large social media and cloud storage services, and giving up control of his content for the ease and convenience of cloud storage. We have a first look at one of the Beta models* below:
“Our premise is that there are things that you really do care about, and if you care about it you’re going to put it on The Egg,” Martis said. “Our whole theme is centered around this notion that we manage our own curation. I personally never put any pictures of my kids up on Facebook or any of these environments because I lose control.”
The Chandler-based startup Eggcyte is fueled by a seasoned team of engineers, architects and product managers with a vast amount of experience in hardware and software. The team launched their new product on Kickstarter campaign October 7.
Features & review of The Egg
The device itself is rather small and feels smooth and comfortable in our hands. It’s shaped like its namesake and has a 2.5 inch touchscreen, a micro USB port. It runs on a version of Tizen OS and directly imports and archives any media content on any device connected to it. The touchscreen allows users to manage data and security features from the device itself.
Once there is content on The Egg, all of the data is accessible via a unique web address assigned to each device (ex: name.eggcyte.com). The website has many of the social media features present on other services, such as likes and comments.
The sense of control is central to the way The Egg is used. In order for anyone to see your files remotely, they must sign up for an account with your Egg. The moment someone requests access, The Egg receives a notification that gives you the option of allowing access or preventing them from seeing anything on your Egg.
Martis compared the different levels of security and permission to how people invite strangers into their home.
“I’m letting you into my home,” he said. “You can come in and sit in my living room and then you can leave. There are certain levels. There are people you trust who you give the keys to the house. But the reason you can do that is that you have control.”
Related: Tips to success on Kickstarter
Martis said the device showed a wide range of uses during trials. From parents creating a network with their families to bands hosting unreleased music, Martis said everyone approached using the Egg in a different way. I could see having a two Egg breakfast, one for AZTB to share content with my team on-the-go and one for personal.
They intend to roll out three versions of the Egg with 64, 128 and 256 GBs of storage at tentative prices of $199, $299 and $399 respectively. The first units will ship to backers some time in 2015.
Check out their Kickstarter page here.
*The Beta model was provided to AZTB for demo purposes only and does not reflect the final product.