Kickstarter: Gnarbox 2.0 offers automated media backups without a smartphone

The original Gnarbox launched with the simple idea of backing up media on location without the need for a laptop. The company has now officially announced a crowdfunding campaign for the Gnarbox 2.0, which takes the computer-free backup philosophy one step further: It doesn’t even require a smartphone. The Gnarbox 2.0 is an SSD that uses a LCD display for one-touch backups, while a new suite of mobile apps improve workflows. The crowd-funding campaign launched today, April 3, and was fully funded within five hours.

Still rugged, but faster hardware

With Gnarbox 2.0, insert an SD card or connect a camera directly via USB and a single touch of the right arrow button will start an automatic backup. Indicator lights will display the transfer status and the screen will confirm that all files were successfully backed up.

Besides cutting through workflow clutter, the Gnarbox 2.0 includes updated hardware for faster performance, with 4 gigabytes of RAM (2GB on some models), a quad-core Intel 2.4 GHz CPU, and a quad-core Intel HD Graphics GPU. Memory card backups are as fast as 100 megabytes per second (MBps), while the USB-C connection offers speeds up to 500MBps. Files can also be viewed on an external monitor thanks to the micro HDMI port. Four storage options will be offered, at 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities.

Like the predecessor, the Gnarbox 2.0 retains the rugged exterior that makes it submersible for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water. The removable litium-ion battery provides up to 4 hours of use.

Gnarbox 2.0 is an app family

The Gnarbox app is now four individual apps, designed to streamline workflows for photographers and videographers and improve integration with other platforms.

The Safekeep app allows users to create custom settings for automatically organizing media captured via one-touch backup. Options include sorting by camera, date, or file type, with files trees displayed on the Gnarbox screen. Safekeep can also integrate with Dropbox, automatically backing up the files to the cloud service once an internet connection is available.

The Selects app is designed for culling photos in the field, with a star system. The app will save any starred or flagged data inside the image’s EXIF file, so when those files are uploaded to a computer program, all of the selects made in the app will sync to programs like Adobe Lightroom and Photo Mechanic. The app even offers some basic color correction tools.

For videographers, the Sequence app lets users trim clips, assemble a rough timeline, and even add color corrections. The timeline can then be rendered to an Apple ProRes file for streamlined import to a desktop video editor, like Final Cut Pro.

Finally, Showcase is the app that allows the Gnarbox to display media on other devices. Along with viewing full resolution files on a mobile device, the Gnarbox’s new HDMI port can stream photos and videos to a TV or field monitor without having to move the files off the backup drive first.

All of the new apps will also be available for owners of the first-generation Gnarbox.

Like the original Gnarbox, the company is turning to crowdfunding to get the second generation into stores. The Kickstarter campaign is aiming for $75,000 in funding, much lower than the $500,000-plus raised in the original campaign. If Gnarbox 2.0 is successful, early backers could get a discounted price along with an extra battery, custom wall plug, and USB-C cable. The company aims to begin shipping to backers in December, and final retail pricing will range from $399 for the 128GB version to $999 for the 1TB version.

Gnarbox is an established company with successful crowdfunding experience, but as always, contributing to crowdfunding project involves risk and does not guarantee you will receive the product.

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