Thin Client Technology for Smartphone

Technological fields
Information Sharing Platform Technologies
  • Smartphone
  • Thin client
  • Cloud
Laboratory organization
NTT Information Sharing Platform Laboratories

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As the adoption of smartphones accelerates rapidly, more and more people use smartphones as a replacement for laptops. There are commercial solutions that bring the conventional thin-client (remote desktop sharing) technology to smartphone users as a way to prevent data leakage. However, since controlling a PC desktop through a small touch screen of a smartphone presents a number of usability issues, mobile thin-client technology tailored for smartphones is in demand. Our approach adopts Android OS (instead of a PC OS) as a thin-client server. This not only allows smartphone users to access a remote Android desktop optimized for small screens, but also utilize the rich devices such as touch panel, camera, GPS, accelerometer and SD card embedded in a smartphone. As a result, users can enjoy greater usability and productivity, while maintaining the same security level of conventional thin-client solutions.


  • Supports Android, iPad/iPhone, Windows Mobile, etc.
  • Mobile applications installed on a thin client server can support gesture control and access sensor readings, camera and microphone on the client device. These features create new user experience different from that of conventional desktop sharing for PC users.
  • Bulk data (sensor log, photos, etc.) stored on a thin-client server can be processed at high-speed through large-scale distributed computing resources in the cloud.
  • By mounting an NFS*1 remote storage to a smartphone as a virtual SD card, all applications on the smartphone can read/write data directly from/to the remote storage (without any dedicated API*2).

Application scenarios

  • Store confidential location information on a corporate map server, receive GPS signals from a smartphone and prevent data leakage by transmitting only the graphic pixels of map images back to the smartphone.
  • Decode a QR code on the server, extract additional corporate information and transmit the graphical image of the result back to the smartphone.
  • MMake phone calls by looking up a remote client telephone directory without importing it to the smartphone.
  • Take confidential photos and save them directly to the remote storage without leaving any local copy.
  • *1 NFS: Network File System
  • *2 API: Application Programming Interface