Samsung Austria and the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna have formed a collaboration to let users of Samsung smartphones donate their phone’s idle processor power to further scientific research on cures for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The project is based on the University of Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), which connects thousands of computers around the world in order to conduct computer intensive research.
It is made possible by a new free Android app called Power Sleep which allows users to donate unused computing power of their smartphones to research while they sleep.
When the user goes to sleep, the unused processing power of the phone is used to perform protein data calculations. Packets of data no bigger than 1 megabyte are sent from the Similarity Matrix of Proteins (SIMAP) research lab servers at the University of Vienna to the smartphones and then back to the servers once the the calculations have been performed.
“In order to fight diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer, we need to know how proteins are created. This requires series of tests that need immense computing power and this is where Power Sleep bridges the gap between science and society. Not only does it drive our research forward, but also allows everyone in Austria to be part of the project and to do good while they sleep. The more people who participate, the greater the effect.”
The calculations made by participating smartphones are stored in an open-sourced protein calculation research database and made available to the scientific community for comparative research.
The Power Sleep app is available to download for free on both Samsung app store and Google Play.