ENP Newswire -
Release date- 30072013 - First released in 1998, RealVNC's remote access and control software is today used in more than a billion devices.
After winning the
The idea was simple, but it promised to revolutionise the telecommunications industry forever. Instead of just calling people on your mobile phone, the device would also become a miniature, wireless computer. Using an innovative touchscreen design, users would be able to buy and download programs via an online store. The 'broadband phone', as researchers speculatively dubbed it, would put the power of a PC into the owner's pocket, enabling them to take photos, make films, play games, listen to music, and surf the web.
This, though, was 1999 - and the place was not an Apple research lab, but
Seven or eight years before Apple unveiled the iPhone, not everyone really got the point of this idea. Mobile companies, not to mention their customers, simply weren't ready for the type of phone that was being proposed. Expense was a problem, wireless broadband was not commonplace, and there were some technical obstacles to resolve. 'There is a saying in the investment community that being too early is a good as being wrong,' Harter says. 'but the concepts we mapped out have undoubtedly lived on.'
Plans for the broadband phone were reluctantly shelved, but the technology that Harter had hoped might enable users to access programs through their mobile was already starting to flourish. In fact, the phone was just one of a wide range of possible uses that were being mooted around that time for his Virtual Network Computing (VNC) system.
It would be churlish, to say the least, were Harter or anyone else at RealVNC - the company which he co-founded in 2002 to exploit the technology, and of which he is CEO - to look back on such abortive opportunities with regret. The broadband phone might have been ahead of its time, but demand for VNC has been rising since day one. The software essentially allows a computer screen to be accessed remotely and controlled from another device. Invented for a purpose far more specific than the array of functions it now fulfils ('let your desktop follow you around' was an early proto-slogan), VNC is now so ubiquitous that it is an official part of the Internet, alongside web and email protocols. 'At our best guess, it is being used in more than a billion devices.' Harter says.
Earlier this year, RealVNC won its third Queen's Award for Enterprise in as many years. These awards are the most prestigious accolades for business in the
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