IFA 2012: Toshiba launches inaugural cloud storage device

It feels a bit cheeky writing up a new Toshiba product while I'm embedded in the Philips media lounge, but that's IFA for you and the STOR.E CLOUD is certainly a device that deserves immediate attention.

Toshiba's first foray into the cloud, STOR.E CLOUD is a simple proposition but a clever launch nonetheless given the mounting security concerns about storing data in the sky.

A personal storage hub, the STOR.E CLOUD allows users to physically back-up their media and documents whilst still enabling remote access and file streaming across a full spectrum of devices, including tablets, smartphones, and personal computers.

In other words, users can safely file away work files from their laptops, music from their smartphone, and photos from their tablets, but still tap into their content from any device with an Internet connection. It's the best of both worlds, according to a Toshiba representative.

"Whilst cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular, many consumers still prefer traditional storage hardware as they're concerned for the security of their data. STOR.E CLOUD eliminates these worries as it combines the best of both worlds. It provides the peace of mind of storage in their own home with the ability to access files from anywhere in the world," said Arnaud Bonvarle, director of Toshiba's European storage peripheral division.

Unlike online backup solutions, STOR.E CLOUD can be kept in the security of the user's home or workplace, with the storage hub being completely self-managed so data is firmly under the device owner's control. The cloud's dynamism, it seems, no longer need entail the kind of security risk recently highlighted by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

A further selling point is that STOR.E CLOUD is open platform, so it's compatible with any electronic device regardless of whether it's running Windows Phone, Android, or Apple iOS. Installation is being billed as an easy, three-step process.

Pricing wasn't revealed at IFA, but the product will be available in 2TB and 3TB versions from October.