Researchers at Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) have developed an Android version of their software to allow BOINC projects to tap unused processing power donated by computer owners around the world to analyze data or run simulations that would normally require cost-prohibitive supercomputers.
The app only runs when the phone is charging and more than 95 percent charged. It also only communicates with computing projects when connected via WiFi, to avoid burning through users’ data plans.
This made me think about other ways mobile devices and even desktops might cooperate to solve problems. Devices might, for example, relay Internet connectivity to one another, aggregate Internet queries to conserve power or provide for alert style services from desktop to mobile. Your desktop might do things that your mobile can’t do or doesn’t want to do for performance or reasons of battery conservation.