Hands On with The Egg Photo Storage Device
A new personal storage and sharing device turns to Kickstarter to raise funds
Right now, people shoot photos on more devices than ever, all of which end up strewn across a variety of hard drives, social networks, and cloud services, making it extremely tricky to keep tabs on all of them. Ultimately, they often just end up cluttering your memory cards, or worse, your smartphone’s built-in storage. A new project on Kickstarter called The Egg is trying to eliminate these problems.
The Egg is a portable web and storage device that works without a cloud service to backup the files on your various devices as you’re shooting them. The creators of the Egg are raising funds on Kickstarter for this new device through March 11, but in the final weeks of their campaign we were able to get our hands on a pre-production model to do some testing. Here are our initial thoughts.
The Egg was approximately the size of my palm and felt a bit like holding a Tamagotchi toy or a really small portable computer mouse. There is a small power button on the top and a slightly larger flat button that takes you to the Egg’s home screen.
The first time I powered up the Egg I was directed through a quick setup menu where I was asked to connect to WiFi and then registered for my own personal Eggcyte site (rather then storing your information on a cloud, the Egg creates a personal website for each user where they access their files). Setup was relatively easy, but I did find the Egg’s tiny keyboard a little difficult to work with. I have pretty small hands and if I found it difficult to correctly type in passwords on that tiny keyboard I imagine people with normal adult hands would be real frustrated.
Although you can import media from any sort of device that can connect via USB, I found that the Egg was most useful when used with my iPhone. If I’m shooting with a DSLR, I probably have a clean memory card with a ton of space so I’m not likely to “run out” of room. My iPhone … well that is a different story. I’m someone who only cleans photos off of my phone when it has hit capacity and I can’t physically take any more photos. It has a lot of data and I’m not particularly great about backing up my files.
When I plugged my phone into the Egg it was able to pull down 27,626 pieces of media in about 40 minutes. Later imports were much quicker. It should be noted that there are two ways to configure the Egg. You can either set it up to simply backup the data on your device or you can set it up to actually remove the content from your device and put it on the Egg, thus creating more space. While using the Egg I chose to just create backups of my files.
Once all of my photos and videos were on the Egg I was pretty shocked to see how much more it could hold. Those 27,626 pieces only took up 2.8 GB of storage space on the Egg. Once everything is on the device you have the ability to favorite it, tag it and change privacy settings on certain things—by default everything is set as a private image that can only be seen by the user.
One clever feature is that every time you turn the Egg, on it shows you a random photo from your collection and asks if you would like to add a tag to it. You can also tag images through the Eggcyte website, although they aren’t presented at random there.The battery life on my Egg did seem to drain pretty quickly though, dropping from 99% to 75% in about an hour, however since I was using a pre-production model it’s pretty likely that this is something the company will be working on improving in their production models.
Overall I found the Egg to be a handy external storage device without a very steep learning curve. Although I’m not someone who fears the security of the cloud, it’s a concern that many have and as far as storage goes this seems like it would be a good alternative.
The Egg’s Kickstarter runs through next Wednesday and for $129 you can pick up a 64 GB Egg that will come with a personalized eggcyte domain to store your media, Kickstarter backers are expected to recieve products in September 2015.