MediaTek announced a new technology today at Mobile World Congress (MWC) called CrossMount that seeks to become a new standard for simplifying hardware and software sharing between devices. That description, pulled from MediaTek's press materials, doesn't really do the announcement justice. Try this: MediaTek built a standard that ostensibly will let your TV, for example, share resources such as its audio with your smartphone's earbuds; another example MediaTek offered is the ability to conduct voice searches on your Smart TV using your smartphone's microphone.
CrossMount is designed to let your devices operate as one, according to MediaTek.
This is a whole new level of device interoperability. "CrossMount is a lot more than mirroring from phone to TV – as has already been developed within the industry," said Senior Vice President, MediaTek. "CrossMount goes the extra mile with hardware and software capability sharing between smart devices, thereby creating many useful and more complex use cases, such as mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session."
The technology uses the UPnP protocol and otherwise relies on run of the mill Wi-Fi access points (such as your home router), as well as Wi-Fi Direct, to enable devices to communicate. This all happens locally—there is no need for any cloud servers.
It's notable that CrossMount uses a simple networking protocol, because it jibes with the growing trend of living room streaming devices, such as the NZXT Doko, not to mention the trend toward the connected home. Further, UPnP and WLAN are standards that are already ubiquitous, which assures much wider adoption. MediaTek stated that the software needed to facilitate CrossMount is easy to implement.
To promote CrossMount, and push it towards becoming an industry standard, MediaTek announced the formation of the CrossMount Alliance that will ideally get industry partners and developers on board. Early partners include Lenovo, Chang-hong, Hisense and TCL.
For now, CrossMount will work primarily with Android and Linux – although MediaTek said that "other platforms" can support it, as well. Specifically, it will come to "Android-based smartphone, tablet and TV products." Availability for OEMs is expected Q3 this year, with actual shipping devices as early as the end of 2015.
We will hunt for more details on CrossMount this week at MWC.