How To Donate Your Smartphone's Power To Science

If it runs Android, you can install an app, created by designers at the University of California-Berkeley, that will let the phone crunch data during downtime.

What's the Latest Development?


This week, developers at the University of California-Berkeley released an app that can take advantage of Android smartphones' downtime to provide extra computational power for major research projects. Named after an existing initiative that uses volunteers' desktop and laptop computers, the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computer (BOINC) app lets owners decide how much of their battery's power can be used, how much data traffic can take place, and whether that traffic happens via wi-fi, among other preferences.

What's the Big Idea?

Research scientist and BOINC creator David Anderson says, "There are about a billion Android devices right now, and their total computing power exceeds that of the largest conventional supercomputers....Our main goals are to make it easy for scientists to use BOINC to create volunteer computing projects to further their research, and to make it easier for volunteers to participate." Some of the projects currently supported by the BOINC app include FightAIDS@Home, which works on finding improved AIDS therapies, and Einstein@Home, which searches space telescope data for evidence of pulsars.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Phys.org

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • There are 2 different approaches to governing free speech on college campuses.
  • One is a morality/order approach. The other is a bottom-up approach.
  • Emily Chamlee-Wright says there are many benefits to having no one central authority on what is appropriate speech.

Is there an optimal time of day to exercise?

Two new studies say yes. Unfortunately, each claims a different time.

Bronx, N.Y.: NYPD officer Julissa Camacho works out at the 44th precinct gym in the Bronx, New York on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday via Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • Research at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences declares evening to be the best time for an exercise session.
  • Not so fast, says a new study at UC Irvine, which replies that late morning is the optimal workout time.
  • Both studies involved mice on treadmills and measured different markers to produce their results.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think Edge
  • Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett breaks down what qualities will inspire others to believe in you.
  • Here's how 300 leaders and 4,000 mid-level managers described someone with executive presence.
  • Get more deep insights like these to power your career forward. Join Big Think Edge.