Next Big Thing – personal cloud servers

Shake your PC out of its slumber and grab your files remotely with this nifty USB device

Sleep talking computers? Sounds intimate.

Not at all, leave your desktop in bed (so to speak) and with a bit of Somniloquy kit – developed by Carnegie Mellon University bods in Microsoft's Cambridge research labs – you can rudely awaken it later, when you're out and about. Leave the USB device in your main PC and together with software called ZZFS it will start up and grab any music files, photos or documents that you'd forgotten you needed.

You're blowing the cloud right out of my mind.

Exactly – gadgets like this mean that Google/Apple/Amazon or anyone else don't take control over your cloud storage. The Somniloquy becomes your own personal cloud server (it's a relative of the network card) plus it doesn't involve any tedious sessions of backing up whole libraries of content and then being charged for the privilege.

I'm in.

You haven't even heard the clever bits – if you make changes to a file, the original on your PC will change too. And the next stop for the research team is developing smartphone and tablet apps to make the whole process even easier. Form an orderly queue now chaps.

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