Sony Mobile has just revealed a new app that will let you help cure Alzheimers while you sleep.
Dubbed ‘Folding@Home’, the smartphone software makes use of your blower’s processing power while it’s charging and connected to Wi-Fi to help scientists understand the illness better.
Here’s the skinny of it: scientists have been toiling away for the past decade to model ‘protein folding’ in the brain, to help understand the mysteries behind degenerative diseases like Alzheimers and cancer.
Sony joined in with this fight a while back, and started testing out whether smartphones could help simulate the protein folding process to provide results for scientists to study.
Dr Vijay Pande, a doctor in biology and structural chemistry at Stanford and member of the Folding@Home team, thinks that if enough Sony smartphone users get involved, the battle against Alzheimers could be dramatically sped up.
“In order to publish a new paper, something that represents a genuine step forward, we would need about 150,000 ‘phone days’ – that’s one phone running 24/7,” explained Pande.
“Split that up amongst 10,000 phones though and all of a sudden you’re looking at two weeks.”
There are already hundreds of thousands of people around the world involved with the Folding@Home software, which Pande claims has made a real difference to the modelling effort.
“The increase in computing capacity is having a real effect on what we can achieve. There’s some light at the end of the tunnel and it’s down to these huge computer networks.”
He added: “The potential of smartphones in this space is enormous and we’re really pleased that Sony has been able to support us with this.”
The app is available in Beta mode right now, with a full release for all smartphones running Android 4.4 and above coming early this year.