Insert Coin: Transporter, the collaborative, internet connected, peer-to-peer storage hub (video)

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Insert Coin Transporter, the collaborative cloud storage hub

Although cloud storage is a mainstay of modern teamwork, there's any number of problems that come along with trusting it explicitly: the limited space for the money, the heavy dependence on a constant connection and the risk that a hack could expose sensitive projects. Veterans from Drobo, Sling Media and TiVo (among others) think they've got a much safer solution in the Transporter, a dedicated internet connected storage hub. Once online, the funnel-shaped device stores and automatically syncs files with the Transporters of invited friends and groups -- and only their Transporters. The focused sharing space keeps data both private and accessible offline, while free accounts limit the costs to the hub and a 2.5-inch hard drive, if it isn't already in the box.

Unless you're just interested in reserving a username, just about all of the funding tiers involved in reaching the $100,000 goal involve buying at least one Transporter. Paying $179 plus $10 for shipping gets a barebones model; $269 and $359 tiers respectively include 1TB and 2TB drives, and a $499 developer pack offers a 1TB drive with special access to an API. All hardware should reach American buyers in January, with developer support coming in March. If you swap files often enough in the cloud that even a Dropbox account feels constraining, check out the source link to back the project yourself.

Previous project update: The XensrCase team needs some serious support to get off the ground: it has just $4,738 of the $100,000 of its stated goal, with less than three days to go. Athletes who want extra-accurate motion tracking will want to invest quickly, and have their friends do the same, to see XensrCase make the December 9th cutoff.