Timothy Lord for Slashdot : Thomas, you are with a company called Eggcyte and you have an upcoming product called the Egg. Can you talk about the Egg and what is it about?
Thomas: Well, the Egg is a personal server, a web server, it fits in the palm of your hand neatly. It has got 128 gigabytes of storage. It has got a unique IPV6 address. It has Wi-Fi so when you connect it up to any access point that has internet connectivity it immediately shows up as a unique website, so in my case, the website would be called Thomas because my name is Thomas, it would be Thomas.eggcyte.com. It is really to store content that you and I care about. Stuff like videos of my kids for me. Videos of my family. And it is for stuff that we say people want to narrowcast. And narrowcast means things that you want to share on a selective basis. Or show on a selective basis to people that you really care about. So I would show or share content or videos of my kids with my mom in India or my relatives in Chicago. And we do that in a very selected fashion where we are always in control. It never goes up into the cloud, so there are never any opportunities for the data to be compromised. And that is how it works.
Slashdot: And you can turn it off because it is in your hand, it is not in any data center someplace.
Thomas: You can turn it off, you can disconnect it from Wi-Fi and the fact that you can delete content that’s on it. And once it is deleted, it vanishes. So that’s the added benefit of the Egg. It is always in your control.
Slashdot: Can you talk about the hardware a little bit? What’s inside?
Thomas: It has got an Atom CPU in there, it has as I mentioned 128 gigs of Flash, high speed Flash in it, it has got Wi-Fi, 802.11n support. It has got Bluetooth as well. It has got a USB port. One of the great things about the Egg through this USB port, you can plug it into any one of your devices, whether it is an SLR camera, or a iPHone or a flip camera, and it automatically gathers all of the content off of it. Without any user intervention. No need to drag and drop and cut and paste and all of those things. And it categorizes it automatically, so it knows which device the content came from whether it is a video or a movie any metadata that exists with it it categorizes all of that.
Slashdot: What’s the display like?
Thomas: It is quarter VGA and it is intended really to give the user a view into what content is on the Egg. Most of the time, when we look at stuff on PC they all show up as these big long file names. But we are very visual creatures. We like seeing stuff. And that’s why the Egg has a display so you can actually see what’s in it.
Slashdot: What sort of communications does it have? What sort of communications protocol?
Thomas: It is IPV6, so as you know, it is a 128 bit address so we could have every person on the planet have an Egg and we wouldn’t have run out of IPV6 addresses. And because of that we do all of the communications as seamless. You don’t have to punch a hole through your router to get this stuff to work. You can walk into any Starbucks and if you connect up to the Starbucks access point, your Egg shows up immediately. It is great for people—some of our trial users like wedding photographers, and some reporters, when they capture video right away and they go into a Starbucks and they show their content right away. We’ve got musicians share their tapes privately with their band members. So there are plenty of use cases for the Egg.
Slashdot: Can you show us the battery?
Thomas: The battery makes the Egg last about 12 to 16 hours. And the great thing about it it is a standard battery, it is a 900 milliamp hour battery. And it gives you 12 to 16 hours. It is about half the size of a standard cell phone just to give people some perspective.
Slashdot: How long has the design process been?
Thomas: It has taken us about two years to get to this point. A lot of iterations with respect to research, one of the biggest questions that we had on the front end was: Would people want to carry another product? I mean, we noticed that if they value it, then they will figure out a way to carry it. We found out one of the things that the women that were in our research trials told us “We love this size and we love this shape because most men don’t know that women’s pockets are half the size of men’s pockets.” We found that we didn’t know before. So we did a lot of research and we came up with a shape that was very appealing almost primal in nature for our users.
Slashdot: As an embedded device, what sort of OSes are running?
Thomas: It runs Tizen, it is a Linux variant. It has got a full LAMP stack on it. So it has got Engine X on it, it has got PHP, everything is done in HTML5. So literally anything you could put on a server, can be put on this device.
Slashdot: Now you talked a bit before we started the camera, about the role of this in what you called democratization. I have to ask you then is the software open sourced?
Thomas: All of the stuff that’s on the platform other than the specific components about connectivity and the automatic gathering of your data
Slashdot: You are already using open source for them.
Thomas: Yeah, that’s right. It is all open source. So people could take it because it is already out there.
Slashdot: Now this looks like a very polished product and does not look like wires wrapped in duct tape or anything like that. It looks like something that someone could buy—is it?
Thomas: We would love for people to come and buy it from Kickstarter and help support us. Because we think democratization is very important. We don’t believe that people should make money off of our data. We think that if it is our data, then we should be making money off of it, or at least have control to decide who makes money off of it.