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Lima

Dropbox Alternative Lima (Née Plug) Works With Chromecast, Breaks Into Kickstarter Tech Top 10

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It’s been a crazy 36 days since Plug started its Kickstarter campaign. First, Plug is now called Lima due to some trademark issues. But everything else stays the same. The $69 adapter will seamlessly transform your USB drives into a personal Dropbox for all your devices. And now it will support Chromecast.

As a reminder, here’s how Lima works: you plug your router into the little adapter, as well as one or multiple USB drives. After that, you launch the app on your computer and then everything will go through Lima thanks to a deep filesystem integration. All your files will be moved to those drives and available on all your devices, at home or away. The only limit of this Dropbox alternative is the amount of storage space you have on your USB drives.

Lima is actually a small Linux-based machine that creates a VPN network between your devices and the adapter. The overall experience feels a lot like browsing and using your Dropbox files, except that you can choose to cache some folders on your device or not — it works like the offline playlist button in Spotify. Finally, you don’t have to pay a subscription fee and you own your files since they are not stored in an Amazon S3 data center. Lima expects to deliver its adapters in December.

For its new Google Chromecast feature, the company takes advantage of the SDK to stream media content to your TV using your phone or tablet. Music, photos and even videos should all work. For a little bit more than $100 ($69 + $35), you can stream everything that is on your computer from your sofa.

“We automatically re-encode all the videos that are stored on Lima,” co-founder and CEO Séverin Marcombes tells me. “An h.264 version of each video will be kept in Lima’s cache.”

That step was already necessary to allow Lima users to watch their videos on their phones and tablets — especially for iOS devices that can really only stream h.264 videos. The team just took it one step further by building Chromecast support into the iOS and Android apps.

Even more impressive than the device itself is the Kickstarter campaign. Back in July I wrote: “the Kickstarter campaign just started but its goal is pretty low. At $69,000, the Paris-based team will certainly attract a thousand backers to reach its goal.” It turns out that this sentence diminishes what the team has accomplished.

In just 12 hours, Lima managed to shatter its $69,000 goal. In fact, with $858,000 and 24 days to go, the campaign is now the 10th most-funded Kickstarter campaign in the technology category. In this list, there are pretty well-known projects, such as Form1 and Oculus Rift. The question on everyone’s mind now is whether the campaign will break the $1 million barrier.