Seagate Technology unveiled two storage products aimed at consumers, the Personal Cloud and Personal Cloud 2-Bay, which allows users to stream content to smartphones, set-top boxes, tablets, PCs or televisions through the company's Media application.
Once connected to a wireless router and after a free download of the Media app, users will access a browsing experience that makes playback of content possible for devices including DLNA-based devices (based on Digital Living Network Alliance guidelines), including the Sony PlayStation 3 or later, and Microsoft Xbox 360 or later.
Personal Cloud is also designed to automatically and continuously back up every computer in the home.
For Windows-based PCs and Mac computers, the Dashboard software provides a way to protect content, and the Personal Cloud devices also work with Apple Time Machine software.
"People wish to know where their content resides and who has access to it. They also are very concerned about privacy, which is why Personal Cloud is the ideal consumer solution," Greg Falgiano, product marketing manager for Seagate, told eWEEK. "Personal Cloud is physically located in the home and is accessible by only those whom the owner or administrator has designated can have access to the contents."
The Personal Cloud 2-Bay, designed with two internal drives, is configured out of the-box to automatically duplicate all content stored on one drive to a secondary drive for extra protection.
Alternatively, for customers seeking maximum capacity, the Personal Cloud 2-Bay product can be reconfigured by the user into a single volume of storage.
In addition, when away from home, users will have the ability to securely retrieve and share content stored on the Personal Cloud drive. By way of the Seagate Media app, users can browse content from their Personal Cloud drive in the same manner they would do when at home.
For users who feel comfortable with storing their data in public cloud services, Personal Cloud drives can be configured to complement a public cloud service with two types of applications, backup and synchronization.
Personal Cloud drives can be set up to automatically back up to a range of providers, including Amazon S3, Box, Baidu, DropBox, Google Drive, HiDrive and Yandex.Disk, while delivering an additional level of offsite protection.
Alternatively, a synchronization option is available for Baidu, DropBox and Google Drive for those who need a secondary copy of their most current data from their service.
Personal Cloud will be shipping to retailers later this month in 3TB, 4TB, and 5TB capacities. Personal Cloud 2-Bay will be available in 4TB, 6TB and 8TB capacities, and both configurations of Personal Cloud can be found at Amazon, Seagate's Website and BestBuy.
"Evolving of the cloud is really to be determined by how the digital landscape changes in the future," Falgiano said. "For now, Personal Cloud delivers on features that meet the needs of most consumers. Seagate conducts extensive consumer research and employs a product development and management team that looks closely at how people are using storage in the home and how they are accessing or would like to access their files."
Apps will be key, Falgiano said. "Just like your smartphone, Personal Cloud devices will have more apps, which allows a customer to add features to their products, so it can do more for them and hence be a more valuable device to own," he explained.