App Syncs Phone and Tablet Screens to Create One Big Picture

App Syncs Phone and Tablet Screens to Create One Big Picture
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Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the November 2013 issue of . Subscribe »

Talk about bringing people together. The free Mosaic app allows users to sync multiple iPhones or iPads to create one giant screen on which to share files or view photos and video--all with just a swipe to connect the devices.

It started with three college students who wanted a simple way to physically connect their mobile devices. One had been working on a file-transfer interface called Swÿp, and the three decided to combine its technology with what's known as "screen-stitching." The founders, all of whom have been programming and developing for Apple's iOS from an early age, created Mosaic during PennApps, the world's largest college hackathon, and launched it in April.

"We tried to make an interface that was as intuitive as you would expect something like that to be," says co-founder Zain Shah. "Right now mobile phones tend to separate people, isolating them physically. But with something like this, you can collaborate with your devices and enjoy [them] together."

The real juice behind Mosaic is its open software development kit. The Cambridge, Mass.-based team hopes this will spur developers to integrate Mosaic into their own products to create original applications, particularly for gaming.

"Game development lends itself to novel interactions," Shah says, citing possibilities like a board game that spans multiple devices or a video game in which one player sets up the structure and another moves the characters, both on their own phones. "It lends itself best to small companies that could base their entire product around a technology like this."

In the meantime, the guys have to finish school--Shah studies neuroscience and computer science at the University of Pittsburgh and artificial intelligence andcomputational-neuroscience research at Carnegie Mellon; co-founders Ishaan Gulrajani and Alex List are studying computer science at MIT. Safe to say, they know what they'll be doing when they graduate: making interconnectivity in the mobile world elegantly simple.

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