Remember the Folding at Home app on the Playstation 3? The app that used your gaming console to help solve some pretty nasty diseases while you weren't playing?
Well, Australian scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research a new Android app that offers a similar promise for your smartphone.
When your phone is plugged in and charged to at least 95% battery overnight, the DreamLab app will kick into gear, downloading and solving a small part of a cancer research problem without any effort on your part.
The idea is that by pooling together thousands – if not millions – of idle smartphones across the country, the Institute will be able to help solve complex tasks in cancer research significantly faster than before.
Data for science
With the ever-present fear of exceeding data allowances almost ubiquitous for Australians, the biggest hurdle the DreamLab app faces is one of confronting the data challenge.
Fortunately, the app offers users limits on how much data the app can consume each month, both on your mobile network and on WiFi.
What's more, thanks to a three-year association with the Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone has unmetered the data used by the DreamLab app, so it won't count against Vodafone customer's data allowances.