Tribler Mobile: Share videos, even without the internet

January 8, 2013

With the advent of smartphones, sharing videos has become increasingly popular. To do it, users are also increasingly dependent on fast and expensive mobile data connections and a limited number of well-known video websites. This is why researchers at TU Delft have joined forces with their counterparts at Swedish University KTH and the French institute INRIA to design a mobile app that makes it possible to share and distribute videos, even without an internet connection: Tribler Mobile.

The app makes use of the wireless connections between phones and peer-to-peer (p2p) technology. The beta-version of Tribler Mobile, for Android phones with Near Field Communication ()- is now available as a free download at the Android Market.


Researcher Johan Pouwelse from TU Delft is the brains behind the p2p program Tribler. 'The app we are developing enables people to distribute videos by copying them from phone to phone wirelessly. Anyone who then has an internet connection that works can distribute the video using cloud technology. People will no longer be reliant on video websites like .'

Live broadcast

'Many smartphones have data limits and these deter people from uploading video files. Now, you can share the video with friends simply by holding your phones against each other. You can also use it abroad, where data usage can be expensive, or if there is no mobile coverage.'

'Another feature that Tribler Mobile offers is that the app enables users with an internet connection to broadcast live from their mobile. 'People watching the live broadcast are not only viewing it themselves; their or laptop is also helping to distribute the broadcast to many more computers and phones', claims Pouwelse. 'It is much cheaper and less vulnerable to overloading than a web stream from a server.'

New standard

Pouwelse's group is the world's largest research group that specialises in peer-to-peer systems. The app is open source and is based on a new internet standard called PPSP that makes high-quality video possible for smartphones, tablets and internet-enabled TVs, without high energy consumption. The standard was designed by Pouwelse's team. The researchers are collaborating with such organisations as Wikipedia and the BBC, which have both conducted extensive public internet tests in order to establish exactly how much money is saved. The project is funded by the European Union 7th framework research program and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

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