To infinity and beyond, Dropbox boldly reimagines the cloud

27 Apr 2016

Dropbox's Project Infinite will let users seamlessly use cloud files on their desktop while all the work happens in the cloud, saving vital storage space

Dropbox has revealed Project Infinite, its bold new vision for the future of the cloud, which will allow users to see all the files they have on their desktop but stores everything in the cloud.

The Dropbox story gets steadily more and more compelling and, like a fine wine, it matures and gets more valuable. To me, at least. From a user’s perspective, Dropbox has made the cloud easy, versatile and a constant companion.

But with its new Project Infinite vision, I have a feeling Dropbox is going to be indispensable for a long time to come.

While no release dates have been revealed, the project proposes to allow users to see all their files on their desktop but store everything in the cloud.

‘The amount of information being created and shared has exploded, but most people still work on devices with limited storage capacity’

That might seem straightforward enough but it could bring to an end the drudgery of folder-hopping and sharing links.

“With Project Infinite, we’re addressing a major issue our users have asked us to solve,” said Genevieve Sheehan, a product manager at Dropbox.

“The amount of information being created and shared has exploded, but most people still work on devices with limited storage capacity. While teams can store terabyte-upon-terabyte in the cloud, most individuals’ laptops can only store a small fraction of that. Getting secure access to all the team’s data usually means jumping over to a web browser, a clunky user experience at best.”

Seamless and secure access to the cloud via your desktop

Sheehan said that Project Infinite will enable users to seamlessly and securely access all their Dropbox files from the desktop, regardless of how much space they have available on their hard drives.

“Everything in the company’s Dropbox that you’re given access to, whether it’s stored locally or in the cloud, will show up in Dropbox on your desktop. If it’s synced locally, you’ll see the familiar green check mark, while everything else will have a new cloud icon.”

She said files and folders stored in the cloud can be organised with familiar drag-and-drop simplicity right from the desktop.

Project Infinite will work on PCs that are Windows 7 and higher or Mac OS X 10.9 and up.

“IT teams can bring the power of Project Infinite to the systems they manage and you can share and collaborate with ease.”

Sadly Dropbox hasn’t yet shared when the new feature will become available – it still sounds like a work in progress – but it could be a whole new step in how we interact with the cloud. Bring it on!

Cloud image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years