Opera Unite Turns any Computer or Device running Opera into a Web server

Opera has launched Opera Unite, a new technology that turns any machine that’s running Opera browser into a web server.

Opera Unite allows you to easily share your data: photos, music, notes and other files. You can even run chat rooms and host entire Web sites with Opera Unite.

Essentially, Opera Unite puts the power of a Web server in your browser, giving you greater privacy and flexibility than other online services.

What’s Opera Unite? What it can do?

The current launch is geared to attract developers to develop interesting apps/services around Opera Unite.

To me, Opera Unite is a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) on behalf of Opera to find a unique proposition to it’s browser offering.

Opera Fridge

Opera Fridge

What Opera Unite can do?

Some of the demo applications build on Opera Unite

  • File Sharing – Securely share a file from your personal computer without waiting to upload it. First select the folder from which you would like to share files. Opera Unite then generates a direct URL to that folder. By giving that link to your friends, you can share files without routing through a third-party Web service.
  • Web Server
    You can run an entire website from your computer !
  • Media Player/Photo Sharing
    You can share your media files and run from any browser. Same with photo sharing.
  • The Fridge
    You can share/exchange notes on one’s virtual refrigerators – I have a fridge here (you can leave some notes)

You can figure out what it can do by now – the potential seems to be much larger that what you see in the demo applications. It can pretty much personalize one’s Internet experience.

Social networking is important, but who owns it — the online real estate and all the content we share on it? How much control over our words, photos, and identities are we giving up by using someone else’s site for our personal information? How dependent have we become? I imagine that many of us would lose most of our personal contacts if our favorite Web mail services shut down without warning. Also, many of us maintain extensive friend networks on sites like MySpace and Facebook, and are, therefore, subject to their corporate decisions via “Terms of Service” and click-through agreements. Furthermore, what does it mean anyway to be connected to hundreds of our “closest” friends? What about our real social networks, the people we want to interact with on a regular basis (like once a week, or even every day)? Why are online solutions to help us with our real-world social needs so few and far between?

We are connected to a Web that has democratized much and is an amazing source of information. However, “the wisdom of the crowd,” along with the notion that our data ought to live on other people’s computers that we don’t control, has contributed to making the Internet more impersonal, anonymous, fragmented, and more about “the aggregate” than the individual. In fact, quite the opposite of the original promise. For too long, we’ve been going online to connect to each other, but sacrificing intimacy as a result.

With Opera Unite, I think we can start moving in a different direction. I hope you’ll join me in imagining a more personal and social computing experience that actually begins to deliver on the old (but not forgotten) promise of the Internet bringing people together in meaningful ways. – Opera

Is it like Google gears (served locally)? No – this is much more powerful. Opera is trying to create it’s own market (and not die in the red ocean of browser war) – and this seems the most innovative way to go!
It is in short, an ecosystem of it’s own and might give few webapps a run for their existence (for instance, Purplenova which turns PC into a web server, you can build your private social network, twitter and lot more)

Watch this Intro video