The problem is that for the most part that is where it stays. All that amazing computer power for most of the time is just going to waste. And that is just your phone. Think of all that computing power which is sitting in pockets and handbags everywhere- just how many potential supercomputers are being wasted?
However there are plans afoot to change all that with cluster computing. This intends to combine all the potential computing power that is currently lying dormant and directing it is such computer intensive projects such as climate modelling.
Cluster computing has been used in numerous projects involving desktop computers; examples are SETI, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence and LHC Test for Theory, which analyses data from the LHC at CERN in the search for new fundamental particles, both of which harness computer power when the desktops are idle.
The problem with smartphone clusters is battery consumption; smartphone batteries have short lifetimes, especially when using their full computing power. But, this is not a problem when phones are being charged, and many smartphone users charge their phones overnight.
In an experiment, six low end Android phones were connected in a network, and between them they were able to carry out around 30 million calculations a second (30 megaflops). High end Android phones can carry out around 100 megaflops so, allowing for losses, a similar network would be capable of around 500 megaflops. Just imagine the potential computing power of several hundred networked smartphones all communicating over Wi-Fi; this could be the case on any train journey for instance.
Essentially a network of smartphones forms a mobile cloud that users can join and leave as they wish; the more users, the greater the computing power that is available. Currently a number of phone clustering business models are being examined. In order to encourage phone users to join a cluster, attractive inducements such as subsidised pay as you go phones are being considered. Owners of pay monthly phones could also be encouraged to participate by emphasising the social aspects of clustered computing, for instance through Facebook groups.
This is a guest post by Claire Chat a Londoner interested in technology in general as well as in the mobile and telecommunication industry. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).
This article is contributed by Claire Chat and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,