Movable App Scheme Gets €10 million Funding

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A project that will allow apps to move between platforms has attracted €10 million Future Internet funding from the European Union

Webinos is a European project to develop an open-source platform that will allow applications to become operating-system agnostic. The European Union is funding the Fraunhofer Institute project as part of its Future Internet investment scheme.

Apps That Move From PC To Phone

Webinos will, for example, allow a web application running on a desktop PC to be transferred to a tablet or mobile phone so that work can continue while the user is on the move.

Fraunhofer and Deutsche Telekom in Germany are working with over 20 partners working on Webinos. These include Oxford University in the UK and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications in Sweden.

The Euro-wide nature of the group has helped it to qualify for a €10 million grant from the EU. The group estimates that its final budget will reach €14 million.

The application will take the form of a drop box which is shared across the devices. An application dropped into the box will be accessible from any of these machines.

At the moment Webinos is in the planning stage but Stephan Steglich, head of department for future applications and media at Fraunhofer, said that implementation work will start in six months. In 18 months the consortium hopes to have a working version for testing.

It may not be possible to have a truly agnostic system without a few hardware problems, Steglich admitted, but these problems may be overcome by software drivers or by a compliant change from the manufacturer themselves.

Ideally, Webinos will form an abstraction layer on top of the operating system, rather than being an OS in itself. Though Steglich admitted that at such an early stage in development it could equally be an application running in tandem with other applications – similar to a virtualised operating system on the desktop.

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