DeepShot Passes Tasks from Computer to Cell and Back

Posted by at 11:43 am on June 17, 2011

A grad student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab along with a Google employee have developed a system called DeepShot, CNET reports, that makes transferring tasks from desktop or laptop computers to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets easier, using both transmitted URI information along with the mobile device’s camera to take a picture of the task state, enabling a task begun on a computer to be transferred to a phone, and vice versa.

The most obvious example of this would looking up a map online using a home computer, and just taking a picture of the map using a mobile device’s built in camera. Using DeepShot to take the picture (which has a corresponding background process running on the home computer), the smartphone or tablet would then switch to the online map, exactly as though the user had begun the process on the mobile device in the first place. Similarly, users can start a task on a mobile phone — for example, writing an e-mail — and then take a “picture” of what they are doing, which is then transmitted wirelessly to the home computer, that picks up right where the user left off.

The “trick” behind the technology is that most web applications use a standard format, called the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) to describe their current states. Running the DeepShot technology on both devices, the URI is transmitted via the picture that is taken, allowing the receiving device to bring itself to the same state.

At present, the system already works with web applications such as Google Maps and Yelp, and would require only a minimal amount of additional coding to work with most other web apps that use URIs. DeepShot can also easily work with off-the-shelf software, again with only very minor modifications of code.

Grad student Tsung-Hsiang Chang and Yang Li co-developed the system while Chang was doing an internship at Google, and the search and advertising giant has now bought the rights to it, and will likely refine the app further and publicly release it

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