March 07, 2013
| by Rachel Cericola
A lot of manufacturers are trying to squeeze the cloud into new products—or at least new marketing materials. However, Sookbox is looking personalize the cloud and put it right in the middle of your house.
Of course, you can place the Sookbox wherever you like. From there, the IP-addressable command server will host all of your media (Blu-rays, photos, music, and more) and serve it up wherever the user may be. Everything is accessed via a smartphone or tablet. That means you can put stored video on the big screen in your living room or share photos while visiting relatives across the country.
In case your content isn’t all that good, Sookbox also has its own web browser and can even tap into other media applications, such as YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, and more.
The Sookbox Server boasts support for full 1080p HD and 3D, with four HDMI outputs, 16 audio outputs, Ethernet connectivity, and 2TB of storage. It’s a cross-platform device, so it should work with just about anything. It also has built-in software that can manage content, as well as add in personalization and zone control.
If you can’t wire everything up to the server, the Cambridge-based company will soon debut a compatible product called the Stream Runner. This can put any device into the Sookbox network, with two-way connectivity, WiFi, and 1080p support. About the same size as a deck of cards, users can add an unlimited number of Stream Runners to one Sookbox Server.
“We believe in a personal cloud. Personal meaning you own it personally, but also it is tailored to the user. The cloud should be divided by user, not by device or by service,” says Sookbox founder Dave Sukoff. “We open a new layer between the other cloud services and the user that makes the experience personal and meaningful.”
Back at CES, the Sookbox founders said (via TechCrunch) that they expect the server to go for $1,000, with each Stream Runner clocking in somewhere between $20 and $50. The small company doesn’t have a target release date yet, but has a lot of funding, so the wheels are definitely in motion. If you want to be one of the first to own the Sookbox, get your name on the company’s mailing list.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.