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EzeeCube home cloud makes your photos and videos accessible from anywhere

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June 10, 2014

The EzeeCube is a new private home cloud device that automatically backs up videos, photos...

The EzeeCube is a new private home cloud device that automatically backs up videos, photos and contacts from a user's devices

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As our recent Cloud storage comparison guide demonstrated, there are plenty of options for storing your photos and videos with an online storage provider, such as Google or Dropbox. A private, home-based cloud can provide more control, better security and home-integration options, though. EzeeCube is a new home cloud hub that aims to do just that.

EzeeCube is a modular, 1 TB, 5400 rpm HDD storage device on which users can save photos, videos and contacts for access from anywhere. It runs on a Linux (Yocto) operating platform and XBMC home theater software, and features a Cortex A9 dual-core processor, 1 GB of DDR3 64-bit 1066 MHz memory, and 4 GB of Flash eMMC memory. Connectivity options include 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, Ethernet, USB, and HDMI.

The EzeeCube mobile app for iOS and Android can automatically back-up the photos, videos and contacts from a smartphone or tablet and allows the user to browse them from their device. The device is also compatible with PC and Mac computers.

EzeeCube can automatically organize content by album, date and location, remove duplicated photos, recognize faces and group photos accordingly, and add the locations and dates to photos where required.

Different screens from the photos viewer in the EzeeCube mobile app

Ashok Jaiswal, systems architect at Ezee Systems, explains to Gizmag that the original idea, developed in January 2013, was not to create a piece of hardware. "We started our development as software-only solution," he says. "However, when we reached out to users, they thought it would be better to have it tied to a set-top box to make the setup easier and the experience better."

Jaiswal explains that the development and prototyping process has been made easier by the company's location. "We're a Hong Kong-based company and are a one-hour drive away are most of the hardware factories in China which really helped us to quickly develop the prototype boards and housing," he says.

The 14 x 14 x 4.5 cm (5.5 x 5.5 x 1.8 in) device is built with open source hardware and software and an open standard approach, something to which Jaiswal says the company is keen to stay true.

"We started the development with hackable boards such as Raspberry Pi and Wandboard, but they lacked necessary configuration or aesthetics so we decided to build our own hardware," says Jaiswal.

Additional modules can be added to the EzeeCube base unit to add more storage and to add add Blu-ray player functionality. According to Jaiswal, a TV tuner module is also in the process of being tested and there are plans to provide a "Stacking Development Kit" so that the open-source community can develop its own new functionality, such as game controllers and video conferencing modules.

EzeeCube offers Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) support for integration with other devices in the home, personal video recorder (PVR) support that will be compatible with the TV tuner module and will allow users to record content from wherever they are, and Apple Airplay support for streaming content wirelessly to other devices.

The EzeeCube is a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connected set-top box running on a Linux (Yocto) opera...

Ezee Systems is in the process of raising production funds on Indiegogo. Users can pledge from US$179 to receive an EzeeCube device, assuming the campaign is successful. "We are very confident that we will be able to reach our Indiegogo target and be able to go into first production run of 500 units," says Jaiswal. Should the campaign fall short, however, the company has been approached by a number of venture capitalists that could provide another source of funding.

The video below provides an introduction to EzeeCube.

Sources: EzeeCube, Indiegogo

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.   All articles by Stu Robarts
7 Comments

With only a single drive, that seems not particularly failure-proof. I'd prefer two mirrored drives.

Also, it's probably light on horsepower for serving up video through DLNA.

On the other hand, power draw is probably light, and the price is good.

Jon A.
10th June, 2014 @ 11:17 am PDT

Jon

Glad you like the device, some of the more technical features are not listed on the campaign for keeping it brief however you can backup content from EzeeCube by simply

1. You can get EzeeDrive and just place on top of your EzeeCube and all your content from EzeeCube will be replicated to EzeeDrive periodically and yet provide additional space for more content.

2. Connect the external hard drive to USB port on the EzeeCube and all your content would be syched to this hard drive.

3. You could leave this external hard drive connected and content from EzeeCube would be backed up periodically

DLNA functionality in EzeeCube is supported by open source XBMC libraries, we have successfully tested 6 clients on iOS/Android devices and Mac/Windows computers

Ashok Jaiswal
11th June, 2014 @ 01:17 am PDT

"EzeeCube home cloud makes your photos and videos accessible from anywhere" would necessarily mean accessibility from Internet. Would this require edicated IP address or DDBS?

Now I wonder why would I need that ? Am I going to be watching a movie that I have stored on my storage device at home ? Generally the upload speed is curtailed to 1/4 of the available download speed. In many areas it is fixed at 512 kbps. So what kind of basic connectivity would I need? Then the environmental concerns. Regardless of how low the power consumption is in standby mode, do I want hte device running when I am not at home?

pmshah
11th June, 2014 @ 09:09 am PDT

This is great news for ISPs who will charge you for all that network throughput.

Cloud computing is a gold mine for the telecommunications industry.

nutcase
11th June, 2014 @ 08:47 pm PDT

Hi

I am glad to answer your queries.

Would this require edicated IP address or DDBS?

EzeeCube securely registers your external dynamic IP address to our own server. In EzeeSync app when you are outside the home will find your EzeeCube's connectivity information through secure credentials and establishes the secure connectivity with EzeeCube.

So what kind of basic connectivity would I need?

Certainly you need uplink bandwidth equivalent to your movies encoded bit-rate (which are generally high at 1.5mbps). To make sure realtime smooth streaming outside the home you need that much of uplink. To enhance this we are making the note for XBMC open source stack that we are using, to instroduce transcoding feature which tunes your content to different bit-rate to server remotely at lower bandwidth to ensure the smoothness.

Bandwidth scenario you are mentioning is sufficient to share normal photos and video outside the home.

Do I want the device running when I am not at home?

Yes. It can be set in standby mode when no activity going on. When you access outside the home it will be waked up automatically to server the content.

samsid
12th June, 2014 @ 01:42 am PDT

We have been listening to all our backers and have now launched new perks. @$39, EzeeTuner allows you to record and watch live TV, watch at home or elsewhere. Plug it into the USB port of EzeeCube. Limited to 50 units on Indiegogo! Buy NOW! Have other perks too. Pls go back to our Indiegogo page.

Ariane Li
18th June, 2014 @ 08:26 pm PDT

Looks promising. How can you interact with the device from a PC or Mac? I currently have NAS connected to my PC. Would I be able to copy content between my PC and the device? I would hate to have two separate libraries.

Tim Graham
4th July, 2014 @ 03:23 pm PDT
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