Samsung has developed an app that allows users to donate the unused computing power of their mobile devices to scientific researchers -- while they sleep. The Power Sleep app, developed by Samsung in Austria, as a collaboration with the Faculty of Life Sciences of University of Vienna looks like a smartphone alarm clock, but while its users sleep, eseentially turns their smartphones into network computers for scientific research in the battle against diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer.
It works by sending out small packets of data, no more than 1 megabyte in size, from the University of Vienna servers and returning them again after the mobile devices have performed their calculations. The data then flows directly into a research database which collects the results of protein test series from all over the world and makes them available to the scientific community.
In a statement, Dr Thomas Rattei, Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Vienna, said: "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."