LaCie has announced what it claims to be the first implementation of hybrid storage technology, in the form of its CloudBox, which combines local backups with cloud storage.
The CloudBox has a 100GB capacity, the whole of which is backed up online. What's more, the backed up files are encrypted (with 128-bit AES) keeping them secure from prying eyes - including LaCie's. OF course it's perfectly possible to encrypt files on other inline backup services, but the CloudBox does it in the background, saving the effort.
The CloudBox comes with one year of free online storage, after which a subscription is required. The pricing for this isn't available yet, and as LaCie has a year before anyone will need to worry about signing up it's possible is won't be for a while, so it's unclear how expensive this backup option is versus rival services. However, with the CloudBox it's worth considering that even if not subscribed to the 'cloud' part of the package, it still serves as a local backup drive.
It's also worth considering that LaCie stores 'up to' 10 versions of each file backed up to the CloudBox, so not only is it possible to restore accidentally deleted or lost files, it's possible to roll back to an earlier version if needed. Plus, as a small consideration, the online backup can be transferred to a new CloudBox should one be required - in the event of its failure, or even theft, for example.
At £179.99 the CloudBox doesn't offer a great deal of capacity, but it does fill a niche for those more concerned that a local backup just isn't sufficient.