There are several wireless storage options on the market that allows you to add storage to your smartphone, such as WiFi USB flash drives, wireless SD card readers, or WiFi HDD enclosures. These inexpensive solutions are are quite portable since they come with a battery, so it’s like your have your own portable NAS or Cloud storage in your pocket. The Next Drive plug is a tiny computer with a single USB port and WiFi connection, that will add wireless connectivity to your USB device such as hard drives, including USB RAID arrays, but also others like USB webcams.
- Processor – ARM Cortex A9 @ 1GHz
- System Memory – 128MB DDR3
- Storage – 16MB NOR flash for firmware only
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
- USB Output – 5V @ 2.1A
- Support File Systems – FAT, FAT32, NTFS, EXT4, HFS, HFS+
- Power Supply – Built-in, input: 100V-240VAC @ 50/60Hz (US Plug with EU, UK and AU adapters available)
- Dimensions – 84 x 67 x 45 mm
The device runs embedded Linux, and supports Mac and Windows PCs, devices running Android 4.0 or higher and iOS 7 or higher with NextDrive Connect app , as well as Apple TV and Chromecast. Once you connect a mass storage device, you’ll have your own Dropbox equivalent on your home LAN, secured and authenticated by “bank-level security mechanisms and encryption chips” using Infineon Optiga hardware key, so password is only required for the initial setup for each device that are going to access the plug.
Connecting a mass storage device will allow you to perform automatic upload of pictures and videos, stream music, backup your important files, and so on, while connect a USB webcam will transform it in to a WiFi webcam which you can access from your smartphone from anywhere with Internet access. Other features include firmware upgrades, optimized charging, WiFi repeater, and WiFi direct. There’s also mention of “IoT center”, probably to leverage Bluetooth Smart connectivity, but few details are provided so it might not be ready yet.
An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been launched several days ago, and so far the project has raised $41,000 out of its $50,000 target with 22 days to go. The “Early Bird Special” reward should get you a NextDrive Plug for $59. The plug is available in the US, Canada, the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Mexico, and shipping is free to the US, HK and Taiwan, and $10 to $20 to other destinations. Delivery is scheduled for October 2015. You may also also nextdrive.io for more details.