Electronics giant Toshiba said [last] week it has developed software that lets cell phones use programs stored on most home computers, a breakthrough that further erases the divide differentiating the two devices.
Phones with the “Ubiquitous Viewer” software can read e-mail stored on a PC, open a document or even use the PC’s Web browser to view Web sites. The only requirement is that the PC uses Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Japanese carrier KDDI will debut the software in March. The company said other wireless operators have expressed interest, but did not disclose further details.
The software is another example of how cell phones are catching up to personal computers both in features and functionality, mainly due to breakthroughs in chip designs that have let manufacturers pack handsets with more power to process data. Modern-day handsets have the computing punch of a late 1990s desktop computer. About half a decade ago, mobile phones were the size of bricks and did little more than make and receive calls.
“It offers users real-time PC access at all times, whether they are sitting in a park or traveling on a train,” Toshiba said in a statement. “Ubiquitous Viewer is a breakthrough software innovation that bridges the gap between mobile phones and PCs.”