Toshiba software will remotely control PCs by cell phone
The Ubiquitous Viewer software is aimed at corporate users
IDG News Service - Toshiba Corp. has developed software to remotely operate a PC using a mobile phone over a cellular network. The software will be available in cooperation with one of Japan's cellular networks in late March, a Toshiba executive said in a news conference today.
The software, called Ubiquitous Viewer, is installed on the mobile phone and on a client computer running Windows and re-creates the desktop of a PC or notebook PC on the mobile phone's screen. That allows the user, for example, to use the PC via the mobile phone to complete tasks such as reading e-mails and editing documents, said Mitsunobu Aoyama, director of Toshiba's software engineering center.
Ubiquitous Viewer can remotely switch on PCs that support the Wake-on-LAN function, a common feature that enables a PC to be switched on when traffic is sent to it across a network, said Nobuo Shimizu, senior specialist at Toshiba's software engineering center.
The mobile phone's keypad is automatically set by the software so that it becomes a virtual QWERTY keyboard. For example, the mobile phone's cursor pad can mimic the functions of a mouse, and the 1-9 keys can become shortcut, enter, delete, tab and other types of keys found on QWERTY keyboards. Users can also create their own shortcuts and settings, Aoyama said.
Since PC and notebook PC screens typically have an XGA (1,024-by-768-pixel) resolution, the software captures a portion of the screen and displays this on the mobile phone screen. The virtual screen on the mobile phone can be moved in real time by the user across the virtual desktop, Shimizu said. An algorithm compresses by 97% the amount of screen data on the portion of the XGA screen to avoid overloading the wireless network as the information is passed to the mobile phone. The screen is recreated on the mobile phone in QVGA resolution (240 by 320 pixels), he said.
At the moment, the software can be used over a Bluetooth short-range wireless connection or with KDDI Corp.'s 3G Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) 2000 1xEvDO (Evolution Data Only) network with mobile phones that use Brew (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) software, Aoyama said. The 3G network offers a maximum speed of 2.4Mbit/sec.
KDDI Corp. is Japan's second-biggest carrier. Both NTT DoCoMo Inc. and Vodafone K.K., the Japanese unit of Vodafone Group PLC, have 3G wideband CDMA (WCDMA) networks, and mobile phones for these networks use Java. Toshiba is working on a version of Ubiquitous Viewer that works on WCDMA networks and with Java-enabled phones, Aoyama said.
Toshiba is aiming the software at corporate users.It didn't give a price or lay out plans to sell the software internationally.
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