The company behind the popular torrent downloading software uTorrent has announced a new project called BitTorrent Torque, an alpha release set of tools that can be run from HTML5-compliant web browsers like Google Chrome, turning them into a fully-fledged file-sharing hub.

Lead developer Patrick Williams explains in the blog announcement that Torque works by providing a JavaScript hook to a custom BitTorrent backend. "Torque is a JavaScript interface to a custom torrent client that exposes all the power of BitTorrent to web developers.  Simply put, it allows anyone to utilize our powerful technology to create completely fresh and new experiences for users with just a couple lines of code."

There are currently two extensions available, the first (pictured below) is Paddle Over, which integrates drag and drop file transfers via social networking and sharing as well as other computers. The second extension is OneClick, which is currently available for Google Chrome and is used to convert a typical torrent download into a simple to manage standard in-browser download.

Future Torque extensions will further demonstrate the potential capabilities of its APIs and will eventually provide video streaming, file transcoding and antivirus scanning, among other functions. Right now bugs are expected as it's currently an alpha build, but as time passes its creators hope to increase functionality.

"Torque is both an underlying, fully fledged torrent client, as well as a simple JavaScript interface designed to make the technology as accessible as possible," Williams told TorrentFreak. "Our hope is that the development and use of torrent technologies can scale the same way that a torrent swarm does, and this is our initial effort towards that goal."

The software is still in its infancy, but with web apps gaining more functionality due to CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript maturing it has resulted in developers being able to create web apps that run across multiple OS ecosystems, saving them resources, time and money.