Torrents on a cell phone? Imagine the possibilities(both legal and illegal). You are standing in Best Buy browsing for a new DVD to purchase. What if instead of purchasing it, you could scan the UPC code and “rent it” for a lesser charge? By the time you made it home, the movie would be waiting for you on your PC, Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone, and more.
Everyone knows that if you give the customer more options for purchase, they are likely to convert and take advantage of it. This is exactly why we will see this feature coming soon to a phone near you. The technology already exists; we are just waiting for someone to type up the code and get legal to approve it. Allow me to demonstrate what is already available on the T-Mobile G1.
ShopSavvy is an application that allows you to scan any UPC and check online for better prices and local availability. In the latest version, you can even make the purchase right on your phone using Paypal. Amazon also allows 1-click purchases of physical goods and MP3s while browsing their site from a mobile device.
No Torrent clients have been developed for Android and I’m not really sure you would actually want that. If you were downloading torrent files directly to your phone this would use up a lot of CPU and battery power as well as eat a lot of bandwidth. The ideal solution would be to remotely control a torrent client from your mobile phone.
To great joy I found remote control of torrents is currently possible on Google Android devices with the utorrent client available for PC and Mac. The default installation of uTorrent comes with a remote web user interface. All you need to do is turn on the WebUI feature, install the miniUI for mobile phones, forward the correct ports, and go to the login page your Android device.
Once you are logged in with the miniUI you have full control over your desktop client. You can browse all your torrent files, view active downloads, and add new torrents for download. Adding a torrent file is easily performed with Android’s built in copy and paste functions. You can also upload torrent files saved on your phone by using Opera mini.
So right now it is possible to:
- Go to a retail store
- Find a DVD you want to watch
- Locate the torrent file
- Start the download on your home PC
The only thing that is missing is the ease of use for the end user and the legal ability for purchase and download to other devices. The real question: who will put this feature in the customers hand first? Will it be a company like Big in Japan who develops Android software or will it be some hacker from The Pirate Bay?