Coming soon: mobile crowd-sourced P2P video

John C. Tanner
02 Oct 2009


One day, your mobile phone may be a node in an ad hoc mesh video broadcast network.


That’s the goal of an agreement announced Wednesday by Singapore’s A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Australia’s ICT Research Centre of Excellence (NICTA).


The two research bodies plan to design an architecture for creating temporary wireless networks using the existing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections on cell-phones, says I2R Project Leader Associate Professor Tham Chen-Khong.


“Most of the novelty will be in the network and application layers which handle the network interconnection and content streaming, as well as the trust, cooperation and incentive aspects,” he explains.


The proposed architecture – which Professor Tham says would be suitable for streaming, broadcast and unicast applications – will be based on an intra-cell peer framework co-developed by I2R co-project leader Dr Robert Hsieh called Opportunistic Temporal-Pairing Access Network (OPAN) that uses pairing between nodes as well as the cellular network.


Think of it as crowd-sourced peer-to-peer content distribution via handheld nodes that join the network once they’re in range of each other.


Potential applications could include audience members at a music concert sharing live video streams from their physical location, providing different views of the performance in real time. The network would be set up and torn down between nodes as needed, rather than be always on – which would theoretically make it a cheaper option to using the 3.5G network as a go-between.


In other words, it may be another way for P2P tech to bother the operator sector.



John C. Tanner

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