MIT is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts known for being highly regarded in the fields of technology and science. They are right next to Harvard so it shouldn’t be surprising that the two highly regarded institutions often work together on projects that benefit humanity. Now the two colleges are working together on a project called Polaris, which is essentially a browser that could help to load web pages up to 34% faster. This would change the way things are now, where website creators actually have to try to make their sites streamlined and efficient enough to load fast enough to keep users engaged.
The way it works is that instead of compression, which is used by most browsers to help pages load more quickly, this technology uses something called a dependency tracker which the researchers have named Scout. This tracker creates a dependency graph which tells the browser when to load the objects for maximum efficiency. This will lead to faster load times, especially on mobile where researchers note that millisecond delays can mean the difference between a user bouncing or not.
“As pages increase in complexity, they often require multiple trips that create delays that really add up. Our approach minimizes the number of round trips, so that we can substantially speed up a page’s load-time,” said PhD student Ravi Netravali about how data moves on a mobile network. The analogy these researchers make about how this works is if a traveler is provided with a list of destinations prior to traveling so they can choose the fastest route.
So far in tests, this technology is very successful. It has been tested on a few hundred popular websites with connection speeds from 1mbps to 25mbps. This could be the beginning of something beautiful…
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