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Fourth International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services

October 11–12, 2012 | Seattle, Washington, United States

Keynote Speaker: Monica Lam

Musubi: A Novel Phone-to-Phone Social App Platform


Smart phones are not just small PCs; we should not just port the social interaction paradigms designed originally for the PCs to the phones. Taking advantage of the fact that phones are personal devices that are mostly online and with us all the time, we have developed a novel, open, and natural phone-to-phone'' social sharing paradigm where users can share anything essentially directly with each other. This paradigm is embodied by a social app platform called Musubi, which stands for Mobile, Social, and UBIquitous.

Musubi provides a group chat app that allows users to share easily with friends nearby or contacts from any existing social networks. They can share statuses, photos, app-generated results such as drawings and recordings, as well as invitations to shared apps. As an app platform, Musubi makes it trivial to convert any mobile apps into ones that can share and spread virally among friends, while protecting users' friends' privacy from app developers. Data are cached on the users' device and can be backed up to a cloud storage of the users' choice. At the heart of Musubi is a novel identity-based communication infrastructure that provides disconnection-tolerant real-time group messaging.

The success of the Musubi social app platform will dramatically change the social computing landscape as we know it today. App developers and users are not beholden to proprietary social networks that monetize communicated data. The openness will promote competition, leading to a proliferation of services and social sharing apps for all purposes from entertainment to education, businesses, health, and finance.


Monica Lam is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University since 1988. She received a B.Sc. from University of British Columbia in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1987. She is the Faculty Director of the Stanford MobiSocial Computing Laboratory and a co-PI in the POMI (Programmable Open Mobile Internet) 2020 project, which is an NSF Expedition started in 2008. Her current research interests are in building an open and federated social computing infrastructure. She has worked in the areas of compiler optimization, software analysis to improve security, and simplifying computer management with virtualization.