Samsung Austria collaborated with the Faculty of Life Sciences of University of Vienna for a new initiative that encourages users of smart devices to do their bit to help further scientific research on cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
The two launched a new alarm clock app called Power Sleep, a free Android app that lets users donate the unused computing power of their devices to research while they sleep.
When the Power Sleep app is turned on — that is, when the user has set the alarm clock for the night — it contributes the unused processing power to perform protein data calculations. Small packets of data that are no more than 1 megabyte in size are sent from the Similarity Matrix of Proteins or SIMAP research lab servers at the University of Vienna to the mobile devices and are then sent back to the servers after the devices have performed the calculations.
The calculations are stored into a research database that collects the protein calculations done by all participating mobile devices. The database serves as an open-sourced protein-calculation database that is made available to the scientific community for comparative research.
The project is based on University of Berkeley’s Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing or BOINC platform, which connects thousands of computers in the world and uses them for research that are computing-intensive.
According to Dr. Thomas Rattei, professor of bioinformatics at the University of Vienna,
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.
Power Sleep is available for download on the Samsung app store and on Google Play.
Watch the video below for a quick intro about Power Sleep.