Remember SETI@home, a project launched back in 1999 which is an Internet-based public volunteer computing project employing the BOINC software platform, hosted by the Space Sciences Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley? Well, HTC announced today that it will do something similar. At its Mobile World Congress press conference, HTC unveiled "HTC Power To Give", a mobile-based volunteer computing project to empower smartphone owners to help answer some of the world's biggest questions. The initiative aims to create a supercomputer by harnessing the collective processing power of Android smartphones. Currently in beta, HTC Power To Give aims to galvanize smartphone owners to unlock their unused processing power in order to help answer some of society's biggest questions.
Currently, the fight against cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer's; the drive to ensure every child has clean water to drink and even the search for extra-terrestrial life are all being tackled by volunteer computing platforms. Empowering people to use their Android smartphones to offer tangible support for vital fields of research, including medicine, science and ecology, HTC Power To Give has been developed in partnership with Dr. David Anderson of the University of California, Berkeley. The project will support the world's largest volunteer computing initiative and tap into the powerful processing capabilities of a global network of smartphones. One million HTC One smartphones, working towards a project via HTC Power To Give, could provide similar processing power to that of one of the world's 30 supercomputers (one PetaFLOP). This could drastically shorten the research cycles for organizations that would otherwise have to spend years analyzing the same volume of data, potentially bringing forward important discoveries in vital subjects by weeks, months, years or even decades.
For example, one of the programs available at launch is IBM's World Community Grid, which gives anyone an opportunity to advance science by donating their computer, smartphone or tablet's unused computing power to humanitarian research. To date, the World Community Grid volunteers have contributed almost 900,000 years' worth of processing time to cutting-edge research.
Cher Wang, Chairwoman, HTC commented, "We've often used innovation to bring about change in the mobile industry, but this program takes our vision one step further. With HTC Power To Give, we want to make it possible for anyone to dedicate their unused smartphone processing power to contribute to projects that have the potential to change the world."
"HTC Power To Give will support the world's largest volunteer computing initiative, and the impact that this project will have on the world over the years to come is huge. This changes everything," noted Dr. David Anderson, Inventor of the Shared Computing Initiative BOINC, University of California, Berkeley.
After downloading the HTC Power To Give app from the Google Play store, smartphone owners can select the research program to which they will divert a proportion of their phone's processing power. HTC Power To Give will then run while the phone is charging and connected to a WiFi network, enabling people to change the world whilst sitting at their desk or relaxing at home.
The beta version of HTC Power To Give will be available to download from the Google Play store and will initially be compatible with the HTC One family, HTC Butterfly and HTC Butterfly S. HTC plans to make the app more widely available to other Android smartphone owners in the coming six months as the beta trial progresses.
Cheers ~ Arne