The race to find a cure or treatment for COVID-19 patients is a very important kind of “competition” that everyone wants someone to win. The researchers over at Imperial College London need your help to be able to further their studies and all you have to do is sleep. Well, you have to be in the UK and let them use your smartphone’s computing power while you’re sleeping. This is a partnership with UK carrier Vodafone and all you have to do is install the DreamLab app.
This isn’t the first time that the app has been used to harness people’s smartphone computing power. They have been using it for cancer research for around three years already but they are now redirecting their resources for this COVID-AI project for the researchers at the Imperial College. They are using a two-pronged approach to the research. One is to find molecules in food and drugs that have antiviral properties while the second step is to optimize them to create treatments and nutritional advice for those who are COVID-19 positive.
However, gathering and analyzing the data takes a lot of computing power. If they only use what they have, it will take them years to finish the research. But we need to find treatment immediately of course, and so they need the help of people who are sleeping but would let them use their phone’s computing power. By downloading the DreamLab app, plugging your phone to the charger and leaving it running overnight, it can help them make millions of calculations.
You don’t have to be a Vodaphone subscriber to participate. As long as your phone is connected to your WiFi, it will not use your device’s mobile allowance. If you’re a Vodaphone subscriber, any data it may use is actually free. And it won’t collect any personal data as they are just using it for computing power, so you don’t have to worry about any privacy issues. Once the research is done, they will be sharing the results with medical professionals of course.
You can download the DreamLab app by the Vodafone Foundation through the Google Play Store for free. You need to have a compatible smartphone but it doesn’t exactly say which devices those are.