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Mobile VNC

VNC — Virtual Network Computing — allows to remotely view and control a given computer (the "Server") from one or more other computer(s) (the "Viewer(s)".) VNC was created at the Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab in the mid 1990's.  The Server and the Client exchange via a well-defined protocol named RFB (Remote Frame Buffer.)

While VNC is not new, it is widespread with several millions of users. The RFB protocol is light and its adaptability to various kinds of computers is outstanding. This is the reason why we found it well-suited aiming at another way to exchange visual data between mobile phones.

Short Story

The idea of porting VNC to mobile phones started in 2005 when I was attending a presentation of new services, provided by... a well renown mobile phone company.  The speaker wanted to show what was happening on his mobile screen.  He enjoyed to walk forth and back, gesticulating in front of the audience.  Then, there was this fat TV cameraman bending over the speakers' shoulder, sweating and pesting at trying to catch the views from the mobile screen.  This obviously didn't give the presentation the professionalism it deserved: people laughing, and a resulting image, displayed on a large screen, rather blurry. 
Back to my place, I looked on the Internet for VNC softwares ported on the mobile.  I found VNC viewers, but, amazingly, no servers.  So I decided to write one.

The Mobile VNC server design had to follow these rules:

  • full compliance with the RFB protocol.  This doesn't mean that all RFB features are implemented, the goal being to view the server's screen rather than to control the server's mobile.
  • bluetooth as another way to communicate the data.  Bluetooth remarkably fits to the usages of this application.  It has been added to the HTTP transfer protocol VNC traditionaly uses.
  • ease of implementation.  The goal is to enable any Java application to be broadcasted at a minimal change's cost.  Mobile VNC Server reuses and extends the Canvas class of J2ME, making effortless the decision to VNC'ize an application. 

Many applications can take profit of Jaxo Systems' VNC Server technology. 

        Download  "Digiclock", a simple one demoing the power of Mobile VNC.  This application serves an image of a seven-segments digital clock.  The clock can be seen from most mobile phones and computers running the appropriate VNC Viewer.  When the server's mode is set to transmit data via HTTP (vs. BlueTooth), any VNC-conformant Viewer can be used.

           Demo       the "Digiclock" server from your PC.   Your PC must have bluetooth — you can use a dongle.

        Download  "VncClient", a J2ME VNC Viewer that can communicate via bluetooth. 

           Demo      the "VncClient" application running from your PC

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