At its Dropbox Open in London, Dropbox unveiled a preview of its new Project Infinite technology. At its heart, it's a simple idea. Regardless of whether files have been synced to a device or not, they will show up in Dropbox on the desktop.
The aim is to reduce the reliance on browser-based tools which can slow down workflow. It allows for collaborators to gain instant access to files their co-workers have shared with them and allows files stored in the cloud to be treated in the same way as those stored locally.
It's being promoted as a useful tool for those who find themselves working on devices with limited storage; there's no need to sync files until you need to open them, allowing for far greater efficiency. Just like Google Drive, Files that have been synced can be identified by an icon overlay.
Introducing the new technology, Dropbox says: "With Project Infinite, we're addressing a major issue our users have asked us to solve. The amount of information being created and shared has exploded, but most people still work on devices with limited storage capacity.
"While teams can store terabyte upon terabyte in the cloud, most individuals' laptops can only store a small fraction of that. Getting secure access to all the team’s data usually means jumping over to a web browser, a clunky user experience at best."
Ben Newhouse, engineering lead for Project Infinite, took to the stage at Dropbox open to announce the product, waxing lyrical about “rock solid reliability and performance” and “infinite visibility and access.”
Aside from the announcement of Project Infinite, the event also had a strong focus on collaboration. UK and Ireland country manager Mark van der Linden kicked off the keynote by talking about how Dropbox wants to "simplify the way people work together," followed by COO Dennis Woodside discussing the changing nature of collaboration at work: “collaboration really knows no boundaries.”
For now, Project Infinite has been deployed to a select number of 'sponsor customers', but will receive a wider rollout soon. Check out the video above to see Dropbox's Project Infinite in action.