iTwin, A 2009 TechCrunch50 Finalist, Starts Shipping (CES 2011 Interview)
by Devin Coldewey on January 7, 2011


We ran into iTwin co-founder Kal Takru at last night’s press event, Showstoppers, and he had some good news for us. You may recall them as a finalist from 2009′s TechCrunch 50 — and now they’re shipping. That’s a stage many startups don’t reach. In case you’ve forgotten, the iTwin is a simple device for connecting two computers wirelessly. You plug one half into one computer, and one into another, and if all goes well, an encrypted connection is created between them (via the internet, not directly), letting you share files securely.

At the risk of this sounding like a plug, I’m glad to see these things are hitting the streets, though $99 will be above the casual user’s budget when a plain USB drive accomplishes the same thing with a little more effort. DropBox and similar services also pose a challencge.

They’re working on a Mac version so you can share files across platforms. They also added a disable code in case you lose one half, though you can also just unplug one half of the device. Hopefully we’ll get one of these for review soon, and can evaluate it on ease of use, build, and so on.

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Devin Coldewey (it's "cold-away") is a freelance writer and photographer based in Seattle. His personal website is coldewey.cc, and you can reach him at devin at crunchgear dot com.

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  • I remember seeing the presentation and the judges grilled them pretty hard – ease of use, price point, target market. DropBox and the like hadn’t achieved critical mass yet. As the article says, it’s great to just see them get to product. Hope the market timing goes their way.

  • man, since 2009 we now have dropbox. and we have iphones and ipads which don’t use usb. why would anyone in the world use this physical device?

    • Well it is quite bold statement that “anyone” can do this with dropbox and iPhone. Ever heard of e.g. company policies that prevent installing dropbox? Or did you know that it is quite small portion of the world who are carrying an iPhone?

      I think better question is “We’ve these things called USB sticks, why you need something like this?”

  • le gadjet à l’air concluant

  • The idea is sound but they should really look around for a better manufacturer that can make those dongles for less money.

    I can see this becoming very popular at $25, but $99? not really

  • Price in 25 dollar area and it will be a winner, I use dropbox, MobileMe etc and would buy this. I pay 75 dollars for a wireless N adapter, don’t think I would pay same price as an appleTV for it. Great idea but with pricing issue.

  • I agree with the previous comments. It will be interesting to see the future apps/products mentioned- more and more cross platform share and transfer tools. for unsophisticated users like me (android, windows, os) anything that helps me avoid redundant work as long as it’s simple enough to not require more work than it saves.

  • C’Mon – this is a horrible idea. A hardware solution for a software problem??? Dropbox, Google Docs, you name it. There are a million ways to do this already with software and for FREE.

  • Connect two computers?! Get a bluetooth USB-stick for both and connected they are. Without routing all the data via your ISP. And if you want the data online, just get a Dropbox or UbuntuOne account.

  • Not really useful in a one-to-one restriction. DropBox etal are really cool, combine them with a portable solution like Netgotiator AlterEGO and you have all you need in software, keeping simple and secure. It would be better in a buy-as-many-as-youlike with a tag of 5$ each and use the hardware ID as the key to establish the secure connections.

  • Too company oriented though it´s a great idea!

  • this is a waste of money of my macbook i can share like 10gigs of music and applications and files to other macbooks who are onthe same wifi without have to worry about security issues

  • conceptually this is great, sure you can do the same without it, but with it you get rid of quite a few manual steps. but the price needs to go way below $99…

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