Finally a Volunteer Computing App for iPhones! Thanks Vodafone!

in science •  6 months ago

Vodafone Foundation has released DreamLab which runs volunteer computing projects on Apple and Android devices!

While BOINC has been available for Androids for quite some time, there hasn't been a good option for iPhones or iPads. My understanding is that this has been due to the low processing power of iPhones, but given that there are almost a billion in use today, even if it takes 30 (or 100) to equal a PC that is still a lot of processing power sitting around idle. Given that there are only a few hundred thousand computers currently engaged in volunteer computing projects, the ability to crunch cancer research data on our phones has the potential to equal or surpass current computational output.

Volunteer computing may make even more sense on phones given that people rarely keep them for more than 2-3 years anyways, so any wear and tear on processors is less likely to be noticed.

You can download the app at the links below:

Thanks to over 100,000 users, some projects have already been completed on DreamLab, but there are still active projects that could use your help!

Project Genetic Profile by Garvan Institute will calculate genetic similarities between brain, lung, melanoma and sarcoma cancers.

Project Drugs by Imperial College of London is researching new uses for existing drugs.

I just now found out about DreamLab and have only been running it for a few minutes (as you can tell from the big 0 on the screenshot below), so I can't comment on how well it works. Have you used the app? What do you think about it?

Here is some additional info pasted from their sites:

DreamLab is a multi-award winning app that uses the collective power of smartphones to fast track cancer research. With cancer being one of the biggest causes of premature death worldwide, finding answers through medical research is incredibly important. DreamLab exists to help us get there sooner. And the more people who use the app, the faster it works.


Researchers need supercomputers to scan DNA in immense detail and crunch complex data. When you plug your phone in and power DreamLab, it downloads tiny parts of a huge research project from the cloud to calculate, and sends the results back to the research team. The more people who power DreamLab, the faster we can complete critical research. All you need to do is plug your phone in and press ‘Power DreamLab’ each night.

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