I love my AirStash. It allows me to download or stream files wirelessly from an SD card to my iPad (or any other smartphone or tablet) as well as upload files to it. I don’t use it often, but it’s a very useful tool to have. It only supports SD cards though, which is a problem for anyone who absolutely needs to connect a USB flash drive to a tablet that doesn’t have a USB port (which isn’t just the iPad). The CloudFTP Kickstarter project might be the solution those people have waited for.
What it does is essentially take the AirStash functionality and provide a USB port for connecting USB storage. Thanks to a 1A output on the port, even 2.5-inch external hard drives should be able to run off the CloudFTP’s internal battery. Once connected, the files can be accessed wirelessly.
While the AirStash and hard drive based copies already exist, this is the first one I’ve seen to accept any USB drive (if you exclude non-portable solutions). That small distinction can be quite important and open the CloudFTP up for uses that the other wireless storage solutions don’t do. An example would be in education where (pardon the expression) clueless teachers still run around with files on USB sticks instead of using something like Dropbox (I mean, when did you last see a computer that wasn’t connected to the internet – especially at a school/university). Other uses like media streaming are also possible of course, but there are already products that do that, so that’s not revolutionary in itself.
The CLoudFTP also seems to support file uploads, which is rare. One of the great things about the AirStash is its ability to upload files from a device to the SD. I’ve used that feature to program my GPS receiver, manage files on my iriver Story HD ereader and actually fixed Windows computers with it on more than on occasion where the brilliant and much more powerful Windows ecosystem has been at a loss of what to do when the WiFi bugs out (there’s something magical about downloading .exe files on an iPad and transferring them via USB drive to a crippled laptop).
Anyways, if you want the CloudFTP to be funded, you better head over there and pledge the $69 needed to pre-order one. They need to raise$100,000 in 59 days, which in my experience with Kickstarter is unlikely to happen, so this is one project that everyone who wants one need to chip in on, not wait until it’s otherwise available like I always do.[Kickstarter]