A Cambridge-based remote access software company, tipped to be the UK’s next billion dollar firm, is launching a Facebook application that allows users to share their screens with each other.

RealVNC claims that the new “deskhop” app, which officially launches tomorrow, can be used for troubleshooting, collaboration, or demos.

“It’s the simple and secure way for you to share your desktop remotely,” says RealVNC. “Deskhop gives your friends, colleagues and family remote access to your desktop and vice versa. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or out and about.”

In order to share a screen the user must select a friend on Facebook and then decide whether to share their own screen or their friend’s screen. A window then pops up to let the user know whose screen is being shared.  

The free app can be downloaded from the Facebook App Centre and is compatible with both Mac and PC.

The company’s remote access software uses algorithms to send data about the parts of a screen that are changing (rather than all of it), minimising the amount of data sent and ensuring that sharp images are sent quickly.

RealVNC is also working with Jaguar Land Rover to bring smartphone capabilities into car infotainment systems. The technology is scheduled to be inside all new Jaguars and Land Rovers rolling off the production line this year. It is also being built into millions of Intel chips so laptop users don't have to download the remote access software, and computers can be controlled remotely even if they are faulty and unresponsive or hibernating.

More than a billion devices now use RealVNC technology, the company claims.

RealVNC was chosen as the winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award in July by a panel of judges who said they expected the small company to be worth more than a billion dollars within the next five years.

The Cambridge Computer University Laboratory spinout was founded in 2002 by former AT&T employee, Andy Harter.

The city of Cambridge has a strong tech heritage and continues to attract investors.

Indeed, a £50 million investment fund was announced last week by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) that seeks to help Cambridge University start-ups take their technology from the lab to the market.

Elsewhere, Autonomy founder Mike Lynch made his first investment in a Cambridge security start-up called Darktrace last month through his $1 billion dollar technology fund vehicle, Invoke Capital.

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