Keeping up with your peers, securely

Mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) applications allow a team or group to create new levels of ad hoc co-operation and collaboration around a specific, real-time goal. But developing compelling and secure applications is a challenge. Now a platform developed by European researchers rises to that challenge.

Many business sectors could benefit enormously from secure P2P mobile communications, but developing applications tailored to specific needs is expensive, time-consuming and not necessarily reliable. Security, in particular, is a difficult issue to resolve.

But now researchers at the EU-funded PEPERS project are putting the final touches to a mobile P2P development platform for secure applications. The platform could mean a rapid rise in the number of secure, industry specific P2P mobile applications, helping to increase the competitiveness of European business.

P2P applications allow decentralised companies to more effectively manage a dispersed and highly mobile workforce. Journalists will be able to work more collaboratively on breaking news, and security guards will coordinate responses to situations, increasing security and personal safety.

P2P applications are a powerful innovation enabled by the Internet. Essentially, P2P allows individuals to connect and work together, rather than having to go through a central communications unit first.

P2P can allow thousands of people to collaborate around a specific long-term or ad hoc goal. The technology gave rise to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written by thousands of volunteers. It enabled the creation of Digg, Stumble-Upon and del.ico.us, all phenomenally successful bookmarking services.

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