CS researchers develop free software that enables direct communication between computers

CS researchers develop free software that enables direct communication between computersThe software, called WiPeer, connects computers in a range of tens of meters (up to 200 meters), without the need for an intermediary; in the near future it will enable similar communication between cellular phones.

Researchers from the Faculty of Computer Science have developed software that enables direct, wireless (WiFi) communication between laptop computers as well as desktops without intermediaries such as an Internet router. In the near future, the software will enable this kind of communication, in a range of tens of meters, between cellular phones without the need for an intermediary such as a cellular operator. The Technion researchers are providing the software free.

Until now, direct communication between computers has not been very widespread because it was very complicated and entailed a long configuration process – so much so that even professionals shied away from it. The Technion researchers’ new software also offers applications that previously did not exist. The software was developed in the framework of the doctoral dissertation of Vadim Drabkin, Gabi Kliot and Alon Kama, under the direction of Prof. Roy Friedman of the Faculty of Computer Science. They built a user-friendly application platform that enables simple communication between computers in close proximity - a range of tens of meters inside buildings and up to 200 meters in open air. Thus, for example, it is possible to transfer dozens of pictures from one computer to another in less than a minute and even a 700 MB file can be transferred in 15 minutes or less, depending on the age of the computer and the speed of the wireless network card installed in it. It is also possible to carry on chats or play games such as chess. “For example, employees who go abroad on company business may be seated separately from one another in the airplane. With this software, they can work together on their presentation during their flight,” says Prof. Friedman. “Students too can chat among themselves during their lectures but I don’t recommend this,” he adds with a smile.

Since the software, called WiPeer, was published, a few thousands have downloaded it from the Internet. The Technion researchers worked on its development for a year. It can be downloaded free from: WiPeer.

Pictured: A typical WiPeer screen

Back to the news index Monday, March 12, 2007