G-Connect – Wireless Storage for your iOS
iOS devices – specifically the iPad (which just reported that it soared to 68% of the tablet market share in Q1 2012) – are becoming increasingly prevalent. Many of the users are buying them for one task: media consumption. Movies, music, documents, magazines, games – you name it. And increasingly, people are using their smart phones for the same application. However, there is an inherent conflict at work here: tablets (and smartphones) are great for consuming media on-the-go, with their small form factors, but small form factors give way to little hard drive space, and media these days requires an increasing amount of just that – space. Granted, wireless capabilities on these devices gives you the ability to stream media, but that is not always available. I love that I can now download any previous iTunes movie purchase on my phones/tablets/AppleTVs for example, but that only works when I have a relatively fast internet connection – usually only at home. The other catch, os tat fees for large amounts of streaming data can (increasingly) be prohibitive depending on the type of service provider you have, especially if you’re trying to pull it off of a 4G/3G connection (or if you’re an AT&T customer, a 3G connection that they are "calling" a 4G connection…but don’t get me started!) so you probably want to have media files stored on your device. But between those files and all the various apps – even 64GB can go quickly.
Enter the G-CONNECT. A new 500 GB storage drive from G-Technology that has built in WiFi so that you can wirelessly access your movies, music, photos and documents via your iOS device. This gives the user an additional 500GB of storage space for media that would otherwise be competing for space with iOS applications – and you don’t need an internet connection to access it (this is due to the fact that the drive has its own internal WiFi. All you have to do is plug it in and it puts out its own signal to which you can wirelessly connect to gain access. Access to the device is gained through the use of your web browser, or the G-Connect App – both of which allow you to browse through the files on the drive and stream them to your device (Of course to get media on the drive in the first place – the drive includes a traditional USB2.0 connection).
Up to four (Supports five devices or more, depending on the workload) others can access the files as well by logging on to the G-CONNECT through Wi-Fi connection – which supports the streaming of up to 5 SD movies, or 3 HD movies. A wireless drive like this would have been incredibly useful on production meetings during my last film, "Mobius" as we were staying out in the desert with basically no internet, but still needed to share references, storyboards, script updates, etc… this would have provided a fast and efficient solution for sharing these things digitally than everyone downloading them off a flash drive one by one.
Now there is an inherent catch here, because you are connected to the device through WiFi, you are excluding yourself from connecting to your internet service – so what if you want to stream your media (such as music), and surf the web at the same time (and you don’t have a 3G/4G LTE iPad)? The G-CONNECT has an ethernet connection on the back so that you can plug it directly into your wireless router. This causes the device to show up as a shared drive on your network, which anyone can access who is tapped into your network – making for a great shared storage solution. What’s even better is that since the drive has internal WiFi, it can also act as a wireless hotspot, so that you can tap into the internet connection through the G-CONNECT itself. You could of course plug the G-CONNECT straight into your modem and use it as your sole wireless router (with 500GB of storage!) The range of the device is 150 feet, so this solution is best suited for a small apartment. For this type of home use, it should also be noted that the drive supports DLNA – so you can connect to it and stream with a compatible device, such as an XBox or Television.
For me though, I can see this as a great solution to having all of your movies, reels, and media with you accessible wirelessly on the road. For those of you who are constantly on the go like myself, you don’t have to be near a wall outlet to power the G-CONNECT. You also have the option of powering the device through Apple iPad-compatible USB power cables, car power adapters and external batteries.
In a few words – this device is hugely convenient, especially for those that travel a lot. It has applications in numerous lines of work, and can also just be a hub for entertainment (often referred to as "research in the film industry :). It goes for a retail price of $199.99 – which is incredible given the functionality. A G-Technology 500GB drive on its own starts at $100.00, and it’s wireless equivalent, the Apple Airport Express, goes for $99.99, but this device combines the functionality of both of those devices at no additional markup.