Pogoplug Video file sharing device recalled over fire hazard

Pogoplug Video

Cloud Engine—in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada—has issued a voluntary recall of its Pogoplug Video file sharing device due to a risk of fire. Users should unplug the devices and stop using them immediately, and contact Cloud Engines for a replacement device or a refund.

The Pogoplug Video is a small hardware device that basically acts as an intermediary between a storage device (like an external hard drive) and a user’s home Internet connection. The idea is that users load up their storage device with video and other content, and then can tap back into it from anywhere on the planet they can get broadband Internet—including mobile devices, Internet-connected televisions, and game consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

“The new Pogoplug Video product adds specialized hardware (an advanced processing chip that can consume lots of power if there is a system malfunction) to process video files in real-time,” Cloud Engine’s Daniel Putterman wrote in the company blog. “Our manufacturer added a fan to the unit, and the system passed all of the certification tests necessary for us to bring it to market. It now appears that there is the possibility of overheating.”

“We’re really bummed-out about this situation,” Putterman added.

Cloud Engines says it knows of two cases of smoke (and possibly flame) coming out of the unit. The U.S. CPSC says one device caught fire, one emitted smoke, and one melted, damaging the desk it was on. No injuries have been reported, and Cloud Engines’ other hardware products are not impacted by the recall.

The Pogoplug video has been on sale since March at outlets like Best Buy, New Egg, Sony Style, Buy.com, and other retailers for about $200. Roughly 9,500 units have been sold in the United States, and 1,500 in Canada.