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Use mobile apps on your TV with Google's 'Open Project'

As a follow-up to this summer's "app capture" system Deep Short, the Google Research team has built a new platform that inversely projects a mobile application onto another screen.

The system, dubbed Open Project, allows anyone with a smartphone camera to share an application on any display capable of running a browser window, including a PC or Internet-connected TV.

Simply aim your phone's camera at an identifying QR code, which, once recognised, will turn into a checkerboard pattern. The user can move the animated pattern around the display and scale up the projection by gesturing counter-clockwise on the phone screen.

Once the application is in place, it will appear just as it does on the phone screen, with the same options and settings. Put the phone away and navigate with a computer mouse or via a touch-enabled display, or hang on to your smartphone to interact as normal. All activity is shown in real time on the display.

"Open Project is an open, scalable, Web-based framework for enabling mobile sharing and collaboration," Google Research Scientist Yang Li explained in a blog post. "It can turn any computer display projectable instantaneously and without deployment."

The system allows users to collaborate on tasks like sharing media or navigation, and even provides a sort of Minority Report feeling for those projecting onto a massive touch-screen wall. The remote display option also enables physical multiplayer mobile gaming for hours of collective big-screen Words With Friends fun.

Most notably, the service needs no external hardware, making it easier for developers to add support for Open Project in native mobile apps simply by linking a library.

According to Li, Google's initial Open Project guinea pigs have responded positively to the new system, though he offered no further details about public availability.