Shareboard is a cloudless, peer-to-peer file sharing mobile app that enables users to share files with others – especially others on the same local area network – without any size or filetype restrictions.
The primary use case is similar to AirDrop. When on a LAN, Shareboard automatically detects local contacts and transfers files between them over Wifi.
Shareboard goes beyond AirDrop by falling back to cellular data when a LAN is not available. Users can share with contacts who are on the same LAN or remotely available over the Internet.
As a cloudless app, Shareboard is designed for scenarios where it is unnecessary or undesirable to use cloud services for sharing. Cloudless sharing is a useful complement in situations common in emerging markets, where bandwidth is limited or expensive – users can still share files with others quickly and for free.
On most campus or corporate LANs, people freely share music, movies, and books, on laptops and file servers. This behaviour is about to transition to mobiles.
Wifi LAN sharing is particularly prevalent in emerging economies, where Internet bandwidth tends to be a fraction of what it is in developed economies. In India, for example, university and corporate campuses may share a single 1.5mbps connection among hundreds or thousands of students and staff.
Access is highly correlated with geolocation: one shares one’s music and movies with friends on campus. Pictures taken at the office can be shared with office-mates. But pictures taken on campus are not usually shared with family at home, and vice versa.
Sharing on the cloud also invites the risk of a future employer seeing the wrong photos – hence the current generation of ephemeral apps like SnapChat.
On the Shareboard network, users can browse, search, stream, and download documents, music, and videos from friends and neighbours.
Our P2P app shares files of any type and size with friends and with nearby users. The app automatically adjusts availability based on bandwidth (telco data vs Wifi) and power status (battery vs plugged-in).
Access control is determined, by default, by geolocation, so that content available in one context (school or work) is not shared in another (home), unless the user chooses otherwise. This radically increases convenience; at present, there is too much friction in having to select which friends should see which pictures.