Transferring a lot of data from one computer to another has always presented a dilemma. Do you spend hours uploading and downloading? Or do you carry around a bunch of USB sticks? New smartphone software offers a third option, in which data flows through the camera and into the phone, transforming it into a digital backpack of sorts.
Called “Deep Shot” for its ability to “see” and replicate data beyond surface visuals, the system works by taking a picture. The applications in a computer’s window will appear on the cellphone screen in the same state as the original. PDF files retain their page number, and videos retain their place in the stream.
“If this system is integrated into future wearable computers, we even can capture remote documents/information by blinking our eyes or a taking-picture gesture,” said Tsung-Hsiang Chang, the graduate student in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who invented Deep Shot.
Chang developed the software last summer with Google scientist Yang Li during an internship with the company.
When installed on a network’s computers and phones beforehand, the software requires only an Internet connection for sync-up to occur. In a process takes only seconds, the system identifies the running application or Web page by comparing the camera phone image with a simultaneous screenshot on the desktop. Thanks to a universal category of computer code known as a URI, the device can recreate unique state of the Web or desktop application by parsing the difference between the two shots.
Any Web page not protected by a password could work with the system, Chang said. Popular sites such as Google Maps and Yelp have already performed well with the software, while other applications await minor code tweaks to make their URIs more accessible (something easily done by a third party in many cases). The same issue affects desktop programs, but in a way that more clearly requires the cooperation of software developers, Chang said.
“Developers can simply integrate Deep Shot into their apps by using our [Java] library or following the protocol,” Chang told InnovationNewsDaily.
In the future, Chang hopes to combine the Deep Shot technology with wearable computers already under development. By pairing this Deep Shot with cameras that fit inside of clothing, people could carry around and exchange documents, software and media files as easily as any portable physical object.
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