25 July 2013

Update #3 on Distributed Computing on Mobile Devices

Back in October of 2011, I wrote of an idea to use smartphones and other mobile devices as platforms for distributed computing, to help augment the increasing loss of computing power to these mobile devices for distributed computing projects such as Folding@Home and SETI@Home. A few months ago, I was excited to learn that an ambitious developer took the time to develop a solution for iOS devices and help bring attention to the fact that there is a vast untapped potential for mobile devices to use their abundant idle time to perform useful tasks. Even more recently, I also learned that BOINC, the parent project for distributed computing projects like Asteroids@Home and SETI@Home, had begun to take interest in distributed computing on Android devices. Well, a few days ago, Engadget published a headline that I came across today that most certainly caught my attention: BOINC had finally released a version of their client that ran on Android devices!
It was a spectacular announcement and one that I feel will spawn a new group of mobile distributed computing projects. I have yet to work with the app yet, but from the screenshots, it already has some of the "triggers" I mentioned in my first article to allow the app to only run given a set of conditions are met regarding the state of the device. It is very exciting to see that the idea is now a reality, and I foresee it being used for other projects, or even used for Bitcoin mining to help reduce the transaction verification time.

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