When it emerged back in June that former Apple executive Tim Bucher was assembling a killer team of tech wizards for his new Silicon Valley startup Black Pearl Systems, any savvy product manager could tell you that something exciting was in the offing. But what, exactly, that something was remained a mystery – until now.
Solving unsolved problems
Black pearl Systems has just come out of stealth with a new name – Lyve Minds – and a new product, LyveHome, which helps users access and back up their personal videos and photos whether they’re at home on their desktops or on the hoof on their smartphones. Initially, Bucher and his team were, well, stealthy about what they were developing, but GigOM journalist Janko Roettgers helped sate the curiosity of intrigued product managers by working out that the new firm was building mobile-media sharing technology for the Android OS and that its likely name would be Lyve.
Bucher has now revealed that Lyve Minds aims to solve a hitherto unsolved problem: how to let users store and share as many videos and movies as they like on their mobile devices. Only a small number of people back up their personal media to the cloud, not least because it tends to get painfully expensive (and tediously slow) when people want to store a collection of really big photos and HD videos.
The cloud in your living room
So here’s the bit that intrepid product managers will want to know about: Lyve Minds solves the problem by recreating the cloud in people’s living rooms. Its apps enable smartphones, tablets and computers to communicate with one another, accessing any of the personal media on each one. Upon its launch in spring 2014, the product will support not only Android but iOS, Windows and Mac OS.
A core component is the LyveHome device which offers enough storage to let users store literally millions of photos. But it’s not really accurate to describe it as a network-attached storage drive or a media sharing hub. It’s not at the heart of the network; instead, it’s simply an addition to distributed architecture whose job it is to copy and replicate photos and videos across different devices.
The product will be on display in January at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show.