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Ricoh jumps from copiers to the cloud

Ricoh's 'quanp' backup service is extending its beta period. So far, it's a very interesting way to interface with your data files.

Japanese copier maker Ricoh launched "quanp," a new cloud storage service in beta a few months back and has decided to extend the beta period in the U.S. to garner more community participation and feedback.

quanp visual cloud
quanp visual cloud Ricoh quanp

'quanp' is short for "quantum paper" and apparently refers to Ricoh's interest in extending the reach of documents and creating interconnections between devices. The service calls itself a "new visual online storage service that intends to be the online spot for collecting and organizing all of your digital life memories."

To this end, Ricoh created a Windows client with a slick 3D interface centered on the idea that if you got used to sifting through your data, using it, and sharing it, then you wouldn't even notice that you have it nicely backed up in the cloud.

For Mac and Linux users, there's a browser version though clearly they have not put as much effort into that approach. (I would argue the browser is all that matters, but in Japan Windows dominates.) There is also a new desktop widget called "quanp drop" for automated uploads.

Users would be more likely to backup and organize their private data if the process wasn't tedious, according to Sho Harada, senior manager of quanp.

"Quanp's 3D view is just one way we're working to allow people to engage with their digital life memories more actively. Based on your input, we're building something that's not only super useful but fun to use, too."

It all sounds good, but quanp has its work cut out out for it. A wide range of backup, storage and syncing services are available for consumers. And quanp's beta clearly has room to improve. The upside is that Japanese companies tend to stay committed long after their American counterparts give up. Having the well-respected Ricoh name backing this service also helps.

You can get more information and a video that explains their service on the quanp site. Sign up and give them your feedback.

Follow me on Twitter @daveofdoom.