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The Globe and Mail

PogoPlug: the silver lining in a traveler's cloud

There are few things as frustrating as being on the road and realizing that an important file you need or that favourite movie you want to watch on the 14-hour flight to Japan is sitting on your hard drive at home, completely inaccessible to you.

The founders of Cloud Engines Inc. of San Francisco, confronted with the problem one too many times, realized that there was little point in getting mad and instead chose to do something about it: They invented the PogoPlug, a simple device that plugs into the wall and converts your home hard drive into a personal Internet cloud storage device by linking it to your Internet connection, making your content available online in minutes.

For many travellers, they had found the Holy Grail. But others wanted more, Jeff Fochtman, PogoPlug's vice-president of marketing told The Globe and Mail.

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"We found there was one group among our community that are hardcore video users, who wanted to use PogoPlug to stream movies to their iPads at the airport," Mr. Fochtman said. "For that, you need hardware acceleration -- software just won't cut it."

After receiving feedback on the demand for smooth, streaming video, PogoPlug --which decides on new features based on word from their community -- launched its newest version of the appliance: PogoPlug Video, which has a hardware chipset that does real-time transcoding of movies so they will stream in the highest possible quality for whatever Internet connection you're on.

Asked about future developments in the company's lineup for other high-demand Internet users, Mr. Fochtman promptly switched into sales mode: "If your goal is file-sharing, the $99 PogoPlug is right, but if you're a video enthusiast and want to stream [video]everywhere you go, the $199 PogoPlug is right for you."

Editor's Note: PogoPlug's vice-president of marketing is Jeff Fochtman. An incorrect name appeared in an earlier version of this article online.

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