Vodafone Hutchison Australia has launched a new smartphone app, DreamLab, which uses the power of your smartphone through distributed computing to research cancer while you’re sleeping.
DreamLab is the flagship app for the Vodafone Foundation Australia, with the aim to help speed up cancer research at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, a team that the Vodafone Foundation is supporting with grants for three years. DreamLab offers the power of a Super Computer to the Garvan Institute via the concept of distributed computing.
The distributed computing model offers a cheap, but effective way to speed up research, smartphone vendors Sony and HTC have both toyed with the distributed computing model for research with their ‘Power to Give’ and folding@home apps, though Dreamlab is available to almost all Android devices.
DreamLab was designed by Australian developers b2cloud, the same company behind Telstra’s New Year’s Eve app and Virgin Mobile’s app. The server side is all handled by Amazon’s Web Services, so scale shouldn’t be a problem, which bodes well, because Vodafone says this distributed computing model can research data 30 times faster than what Garvan can do with just 1,000 users and Vodafone currently has 1,987 users, at least according to the app.
The app starts working when your phone is plugged in and fully charged ,so there’s no loss in terms of function and the app won’t access your personal information either. The app uses data to download, and then re-upload data from modules, though Vodafone customers won’t be charged for transferring data. Customers on other networks will be charged as per their data plan, but they can choose to use WiFi and they can even choose to limit how much data is being used every month.
DreamLab lets users target which type of cancer they want to target: Breast, Ovarian, Pancreatic or Prostate when you run through the setup of the app. You also need to provide basic contact information.
Of course with Marshmallow, your phone may also be doing its backups while the phone is supposedly on charge and idle at night, but there’s going to be at least some room for sharing the load with a charity.
If you want to get on board with DreamLab, head over to Google Play and install the app now.