Access your PC anywhere with desi iTwin
Chennai: Four years ago, when Chennai-born Lux Ananthraman, then a researcher specializing in cryptography and security at a government-run lab in Singapore, lost his USB drive with all his data, he decided to do something about it.
“In spite of all the security work I was doing, I suddenly felt helpless,” says Anantharaman. This experience led to the creation of iTwin, a pair
of identical USB drives that share data exclusively between them over any connection without being accessible to any other system.
It’s a device that lets you access the hard disk of your computer from anywhere in the world by just inserting one USB drive in the home PC and carrying the other with you. It’s cable-less cable, says proud iTwin creator
Chennai: Chennai-born Lux Ananthraman has created iTwin, a pair of identical USB drives that share data exclusively between them over any connection. The procedure is insert the USB drive you are carrying in any computer and youcanaccessallyourfilessecurely and without the need for any third-party software. For iTwin, all you need is internet access. And it costs just about Rs 5,000 ($99).
“It is a cable-less cable,” says Ananthraman, who’s a 1994 IIT-Madras grad and an Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore postgraduate. “It’s easyandsecurelikeacablefor transferring files between two devices, but without the hassle and clutter.” No tricky software installations, no lengthy configuration procedures and no complicated logins or passwords. Plug it in and you are ready to go.
He teamed up with Kal Takru, his colleague at Singapore’s A*STAR and the cofounder, to develop iTwin in Singapore. “We form a great team.WhileIhandletechnology, he handles operational aspects.” Kal was born in Dehradun and completed his studies in Singapore where they met.
The device was named among the Techcrunch 50, a global list of promising startups, and the duo got their second round of funding last week. The unique minimaliztic structure also won the 2011 Red Dot Design Award for outstanding product design. And it has been named an international CES (the biggest consumer electronics exhibition in the world) Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree.
But if the name and design makes you think of an Apple connection, think again. “I haveanidenticaltwinbrother who is a doctor in England. I feel like I have a direct link to him. When he falls sick, I fall sick,” he says, smiling. This ‘connection’ between ‘identical twins’ led to the name iTwin. And it’s not just the design. Everything related to this product seems to have a pattern. It was launched on 10/10/10. Ask him what’s the reason and he states his “fondness for number theory”.
There are cloud services like Dropbox and Sugarsync which achieve the same function and for free, but iTwin has clear advantages, the creators claim. “The data always remains on your computer and the transfer is fully encrypted, meaning you are in complete control with your very own setup. And it is extremely user-friendly with no setting up pains,” says Ananthraman. If you lose one USB, just unplug the other one from PCtosecureallyourdata.And you can also disable the other USB remotely by using a passcode generated at the time of pairing the devices for the first time.
“I find it ruffling that my personal data is sitting on some other server. After recent concerns about privacy, Dropbox redefined its user terms and they are not comforting. And these services are not free beyond a certain point, say 2GB,” he says.
Regarding future plans, theyarecurrentlyfocusingon the US and Europe but are very keen on India. “Kal is in Delhi looking at options and talking with distributors,” he says. “Next year, we plan to hit big retail stores like Staples and BestBuy in the US.”