LAS VEGAS – Kwilt Shoebox was showing off their private cloud storage device at CES Unveiled Sunday, giving iPhone users an easy way to back up, offload, and view all your photos and videos. The US$49.99 Kwilt Shoebox connects wirelessly to your home network, and attaches to a bring-it-yourself USB drive upon which all your photos and videos will be stored.

Kwilt Shoebox close-up

Kwilt Shoebox attaches Wi-Fi to your network and USB to your hard drive to create a private cloud for your photos and videos.

Simply launch the app on your iPhone and it will start backing up, no matter whether you’re at home or away. This simultaneously allows you the peace of mind of a backup along with the ability to browse your photos from any device to which you grant access, anywhere in the world.

The USB drive can be anything you have, which means the amount of storage is up to you. Handily – and likely in reaction to all of the issues with other private cloud systems – the Kwilt Shoebox formats the USB drive such that it can simply be read natively by both macOS and Windows, meaning if something happens to your Kwilt unit, you don’t lose access to everything you’ve stored on the drive.

Similarly, if you already have a drive full of photos and videos, you can plug that in and let the Kwilt Shoebox index it, making that the foundation of your private cloud library.

Kwilt Shoebox is primarily targeted at the smartphone, though it does have a web interface to make everything viewable from your Mac, too, if you like.

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I’ve seen a lot of private cloud solutions come… and go… and while there’s no guarantee that Kwilt will be around forever, they’ve hedged your bets for you by ensuring that your photos are stored in a non-proprietary format. Kudos to them for thinking this far ahead. At $49.99, this is a relatively inexpensive way to see if private cloud is workable for you.

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