The hard drive just got a lot more interesting. Cloud Engines' Pogoplug ($129) adds connectivity to transform any drive into a platform for multimedia Web sharing. And unlike previous attempts at the networked hard drive, Pogoplug makes it easy. "This thing was designed so it just works," says CEO Dan Putterman. Log in to your Pogoplug from any Web browser, and you can access all content attached to it (Pogoplug supports up to four USB drives). You can even stream videos from your home computer, and Pogoplug converts them into a friendly format so they'll play on any PC or mobile device. A smart address book lets you automatically send content to friends and family and publish to Twitter and Facebook just by dropping files into a particular folder. And that color? "We wanted to appeal to more than IT guys." Done.
A version of this article appeared in the February 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.