Share app functions across devices

Article By : KAIST

Virtualisation enables existing applications to share their functionality without modification, delivering a scenario more powerful than Apple's Handover feature.

To solve various problems that can arise whenever smart devices are used, researchers in South Korea have developed a mobile platform that allows the sharing of application functionalities between smart devices.

Functionality sharing enables users to utilise smartphones in various and convenient ways and allows app developers to easily create applications. However, current mobile platforms, such as Android or iOS, only support functionality sharing within a single mobile device. It is burdensome for both developers and users to share functionalities across devices because developers would need to create more complex applications and users would need to install the applications on each device.

Mobile Plus

To address this problem, Professor Insik Shin, from KAIST's School of Computing, and his research team developed Mobile Plus, a platform technology that supports functionality sharing between devices.

The main concept is using virtualisation to give the illusion that the applications running on separate devices are on a single device. They succeeded in this virtualisation by extending a remote procedure call (RPC) scheme to multi-device environments.

This virtualisation technology enables the existing applications to share their functionalities without needing any modifications, regardless of the type of applications. So users can now use them without additional purchases or updates. Mobile Plus can support hardware functionalities like cameras, microphones and GPS as well as application functionalities such as logins, payments and photo sharing. Its greatest advantage is its wide range of possible applications.

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Figure 1: Users can securely log on to SNS accounts by using their personal devices. (Source: KAIST)

"Mobile Plus is expected to have great synergy with smart home and smart car technologies. It can provide novel user experiences (UXs) so that users can easily utilise various applications of smart home/vehicle infotainment systems by using a smartphone as their hub," Shin said.

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