Numecent makes any app a Web app

"Memory manager in the network" improves performance, bandwidth efficiency for Web apps and makes it possible to stream virtual machines.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
Neat trick: Numecent runs memory paging through the Internet. Numecent

Numecent is rolling out its "cloud paging" technology today. It's an interesting way to add some client/server technology to virtual machine setups. What it really means: You'll be able to play big games over the Web more quickly than if you had to download them, and with better performance than if you're streaming the game's video (as OnLive does).

Numecent is a virtual machine technology, but instead of downloading the whole "machine" to the client (end user) computer before it can run it, it uses a network-based virtual memory manager that grabs bits of the VM as needed over the Web.

There are big enterprise applications. CEO Osman Kent says a company could use Numecent VMs to deploy a major update to a big app, say a CAD program, without requiring tedious updates of client machines.

There is also a consumer applications: Game demos. Right now, Kent says, keeping "time to gratification" low is a key driver in the uptake of game demos, and that 40% of those mega downloads are aborted. Game publishers pay for the bandwidth, even if the user gives up halfway through.

The Numecent client app uses local hardware resources, so the games can perform better than streaming video apps, and with much lower network use too. The tech only shunts necessary slices of code to the user machine, where it's cached. The gaming version of the technology is called Approxy.

The technology is DARPA-derived and encircled by patents, Kent says.