What if you could find the content that you were looking for in a colleague’s or classmate’s device and download it to your device without any data costs. Well, this is the kind of technology Microsoft Research Labs is working on, pushing the boundaries of what was till now thought possible.
ShareIT has over 250 million users in India alone and over 1.5 billion users globally. But the hugely popular application shares files only among people who know each other, creating a local Wi-Fi. The research teams at Microsoft are working on if it is possible to create a cloud coordinated content distribution network to trigger a cloud plane that lets users see if there are others nearby who have the content with the metadata they are looking for and then ask for permission to share it. While the creation of this cloud plane might need a data network, the transfer of data will happen over local WiFi.
Similar work is also being done with BlendNet which postpones the downloading of content till you come to a place where someone else has the same file nearby.
Sriram Rajamani, managing director of Microsoft Research India, said while this tech is not yet a product, there are content companies that are interested in the capability. “The Research Labs will not develop the product, but Microsoft as a company could work on this,” he said.