LIMA: The Personal Cloud Startup
With every passing week, cloud storage gets easier and moves further into the mainstream. One of the biggest trends in cloud computing right now is the concept of the private cloud, and a new storage device and app called Lima is a logical link in the cloud’s evolutionary chain. The company’s tagline is “Build your personal cloud in seconds”, and it’s an accurate reflection of what they do.
Lima was founded in 2011, but really got going in 2013 after a successful crowdfunding campaign on KickStarter where it was able to raise $1.2 million which gave them the funds necessary to go into production.
Essentially, Lima is a device that plugs into your network router and allows all your devices to work as a group. With Lima, all your devices “contain exactly the same files. Just like if they were one single, unique device.” All of a sudden you can interact with all of your content at the same time, no matter which device you’re using, you can watch thousands of movies and songs on your iPad, play content on your connected TV and share confidential folders with friends and colleagues, without having to send them to third party cloud companies.
Military Level Security
The company is very proud of its security, terming it ‘military level’. No-one has physical access to your data as it is stored securely in your home and all exchanges are fully encrypted. Your content will also interact easily with whatever apps are appropriate on your connected devices. Plus, if you happen to do something to ruin your content, you can be secure in the knowledge that Lima has saved a version of it at “Home”, so you are able to roll back to an earlier version with just a few simple clicks.
Setup is easy and seamless; all you do is connect the Lima device to your router and then to the external hard drive where all your files will be stored. Then you download the app onto your devices and you’re good to go.
It’s also an extremely affordable option as there is a once-off fee of $99 which gets you the device and the software free for life. Instead of renting cloud space, you are in effect owning your own private cloud service and your only obstacle is the size of your connected hard drive.
Lima is building a groundswell of attention and will feature strongly at CES 2016. Online tech magazine Inc.com listed Lima in its article “22 gadgets that will steal the show at CES 2016″.
It was also honored as one of the Top 10 Tech Projects on Kickstarter for 2013, and in the MIT Tech Review Innovators 35 in 2015.
Lima retains its speed by not transferring entire files between devices, unless you specify that you need to use them offline. Otherwise, it simply uses the metadata of files to give you access, and your storage capacity is entirely dependent on the size of the hard drive which you attach to the device. “Your devices are just like frames, through which you can see exactly the same content, at all times.”
Comparisons with Dropbox and other cloud services are inevitable and the company has gone to great lengths to explain how they are different, noting that they are not providing memory, but rather ‘a way to make your devices store all your content in the same place.’ In addition, you don’t have to move your files into Lima, they are all automatically there.
It’s an intriguing device and is extremely consumer-friendly in its branding, ease of use and simple value proposition. If the company gets it right and the device can do what it is claims, then the word Lima may soon be as commonly used as a verb as, in the same vein as “Google it” or “Dropbox it!”
By Jeremy Daniel