The era that we live in is strange. Remember back when we took photos on a camera? This was where all our pictures came from, complete with the inconvenience of development. Back then, most of us organized our pictures into an album, or, to a minimalist degree, a shoebox. Now, our pictures are completely out of the box, on smartphones, tablets, computers, and occasionally…a camera, assuming we even own one. So where does that leave us? A place where we have our pictures, videos, and other memory data…in every place. This is where Amber comes in.
What is Amber?
Amber is a way of automatically gathering photos, videos, music, and any other kinds of documents from household devices. It can do this automatically and store them all in one place, and that place is a digital fortress of solitude for our memories.
You can see in the photo below that there is some hardware involved. In the two photos that I have shown so far, there isn’t really a good feel for the size of this hard drive box. I have been told that the Amber box is over six inches in height, which might seem kind of large, but there is a lot of memory (1 or 2 TB) and a router inside. However, I think that what Amber does is worth a device three times its size.
I had a chance to talk with Dr. Pantas Sutardja, the founder, president, and CEO of Latticework, and creator of Amber, his company’s first product. Considering that the user can access their files from about everywhere thanks to a handy Android and iOS app, I asked if Amber was a “personal cloud”. He told me that he wanted to avoid the term “personal cloud”, but the Amber website calls it “Your Personal Hybrid Cloud Storage Platform”.
When I asked why it was called “Amber”, his only response was that the name was bright sounding, and implied that this will preserve people’s memories in Amber. Hey, if it worked for dinosaur blood in Jurassic Park, why not? I’m sure Dr. Hammond would “spare no expense” to put his memories of his grand-kids in a digital file in Amber, along with his dinosaur DNA.
Amber Can Be Used From Anywhere
Okay, I probably extended that Dr. Hammond metaphor way too far. However, do I need to talk about the benefits of Amber? I mean, I’ve got a family, and we all have smart devices that are full of pics, videos and other files. It just makes sense to put in them a place that is secure and centralized. If Amber can do that, more power to it.
Best of all, if I want to show someone a video or photo that is on Amber, I can do it from anywhere that I get cellular phone service or Wi-Fi. All I need to do is open up that application, and I can access whatever photo, video, or any file that I want. Oh did I mention that Amber can hold pretty much any type of digital file? It can. I should also mention that Dr. Sutardja told me that Smart TVs should be compatible with Amber. Oh, and don’t worry about privacy, because you will have that too.
While I am the subject of things about Amber that I like, the slogan is the best: “it’s not just your data, it’s your life”. Now to something else that I need to address, this video:
Okay, I have to say that this video brings up a lot of good things, as it is great to have memories. Then the video gets kind of potentially dark as it appears that the father is not in some of them. Especially when it gets all black and white, he’s wearing a fireman’s uniform, and you hear some radio chatter. Then there is the little kid asking about his father not being in the video. All I could think about was how it gave me the serious “feels” more than a Pixar movie, because I thought the daddy was killed in the line of duty.
I had to admit, it was pretty serious, even, dare I say it, “hardcore”. Fortunately, the father was alive and well, and the mother could do a search for his pics with an image recognition software alone. I will admit that I like that, and makes up for the video’s serious…seriousness.
After all, we all have photos and memories that have the potential of getting lost in our daily routine, and if Amber can put them in a place where they are easily accessible from anywhere, than it has paid for itself. This would be a good time to discuss price.
The Price of Amber
According to the Amber website, the device itself (an appropriate black box) costs about $399.99 (early bird price) for the 1 TB model. An upgrade of another TB is about $250, and should be available in October 2018, just in time for the holidays. Oh, by the way, there are no subscription fees, and it is all private.
We at The Geek Church review a lot of devices during the holiday gift-giving season, and if you have a family in mind, this seems like a perfect gift that you might want to order before the holidays really kick into high gear.