A new app will put your Android phone to good use while you get your rest.
Smartphones do very little when you’re asleep, apart from charging overnight, but a new initiative is going to change all that.
The University of Vienna and Samsung Austria released a new app called Power Sleep, which uses your phone’s processing power to complete protein calculations to help research into diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Taking the form of an alarm clock, the app requests a data package from a University of Vienna server and begins calculating while you’re asleep.
When your alarm goes off, the process is completed and sent off to the researchers’ database. The app doesn’t collect any personal data from you, only the calculations made while you sleep.
The researchers say the average amount of data packet transmitted is 1MB, although it’s recommended you’re connected to a WiFi network first when it’s calculating.
The University of Vienna’s app is one of many examples of projects which use personal devices for research. The most popular one was Folding@Home, an initiative from Stanford University which uses your Windows computer to run protein calculations in the background while you’re working.
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Quinton O’Reilly is the technology correspondent for TheJournal.