How does DreamLab work?
Your smartphone is a small but powerful computer. When it's idle – like when you're asleep at night – that power goes untapped. DreamLab puts that power to good use to fast-track cancer research. When you power DreamLab, your phone will receive tiny problems to process and solve, and send the results back to the research team.
Our research partners have uploaded large research problems to the DreamLab cloud (hosted by Amazon Web Services). Once a user has downloaded and set up the DreamLab app, their phone will download a tiny piece of the research problem (hundreds of KB). A clever program built by our research partners allows your phone to crunch the research problem, using the phone’s computing power.
How do I start using DreamLab?
Download DreamLab from Google Play or the Apple store. DreamLab will automatically start when your phone is plugged in to charge and reaches 80% charged – or you can press ‘Power DreamLab’ anytime.
Will it access personal or private information on my phone?
No. DreamLab does not require personal information, nor does it access private information on your phone.
How much will it cost me to use DreamLab?
For Vodafone UK customers, we do our best to make sure the mobile data to use DreamLab is free in the UK or in our Roam-free destinations. However, there may be some small amounts of associated background data that you may be charged for. For roaming outside the UK and Roam-free destinations you’ll be charged our standard data roaming charges for the country you’re visiting.
Vodafone Pay as You Go customers must have credit on their account for DreamLab to work over our network (though it’ll still work over Wi-Fi).
If you’re also contributing to DreamLab over Wi-Fi, you may be charged depending on your home broadband package and usage. If you have Vodafone Home Broadband your data is unlimited, so you don’t need to worry.
For everyone else, you’ll be charged for the data you contribute each month according to the plan you have with your mobile phone or home broadband provider.
Please note: DreamLab works on a calendar month, which might not be in sync with your billing cycle. You can see when your DreamLab month will restart in the app Settings.
Please note: Vodafone Enterprise customers using a non-Vodafone APN setting (for example, using their organisation’s APN setting or VPN) will be charged according to their mobile price plan.
Will it work on my device?
DreamLab will work on iPhone devices with iOS 10 and later, and Android devices with KitKat v4.4 and later. DreamLab is not compatible with other smartphone operating systems, such as Windows, Symbian OS or Blackberry.
I live in another country – can I still use DreamLab?
Yes, the DreamLab app can be downloaded from anywhere in the world.
For roaming outside the UK and the Roam-free destinations you’ll be charged our standard data roaming charges for the country you’re visiting. If you’re outside the UK and you’ve also chosen to donate processing power over Wi-Fi with a usage limit, you’ll be charged according to that usage.
If you aren’t a Vodafone UK customer, you’ll be charged according to your mobile or Wi-Fi price plan for the data you contribute.
What is Imperial College London?
Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading universities. The College’s 17,000 students and 8,000 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for our society.
Imperial is the UK’s most international university, according to Times Higher Education, with academic ties to more than 150 countries. Reuters named the College as the UK’s most innovative university because of its exceptional entrepreneurial culture and ties to industry.
How is DreamLab different to other grid computing systems and apps?
Since 2002, Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) and other platforms have enabled people from around the world to donate the processing power of their desktop computers and gaming consoles to help solve research problems. The BOINC platform was extended to Android devices in 2013. DreamLab uses a world-first and custom-built solution (not using BOINC) that crunches our research partners’ projects. DreamLab is the first of its kind to be available for users on Android and iOS.
What research project can I support?
You can choose to support any of the projects contained within the app. You can find out more about the projects by clicking on the Project tab in the app. As these projects near completion, new projects will be added to the app for you to support.
Can I change which research project I’m supporting?
Yes. Just visit the Projects page in the app, and make your choice. You can only support one project at a time, but you can change at any stage.
How does DreamLab work faster than super computers?
Based on tests carried out by the DreamLab team, 33 new devices will analyse data about as fast as a CPU core of a typical in research organisation’s in-house supercomputer.
What is the goal of DreamLab?
DreamLab aims to help researchers crunch their complex data, to speed up the pace of research discovery. DreamLab is currently focused on supporting research relating to cancer and genomics, and more recently Covid-19. You can read more here.
Whose information does DreamLab analyse?
DreamLab analyses cancer and Covid-19 genomics data that has been de-identified for research purposes.
Can other research organisations get involved in using DreamLab?
In the future we aim to enable DreamLab to support other research projects and organisations around the world – to help solve other important research questions.
Why does DreamLab need data to work?
While you’re donating the processing power of your Smartphone, DreamLab uses data to download the research problems from the cloud, and to send the results back. However, you’re in total control and can choose how much you contribute each month on your mobile network, or over Wi-Fi. You can change your monthly data contribution limit in the app settings at any time.
My mobile phone provider has alerted me that I’m running low on data for my billing cycle. What should I do with DreamLab?
If you’re not with Vodafone UK and you’re running low on mobile data, you can turn off the mobile data contribution in the DreamLab app settings so that DreamLab doesn’t use up any more mobile data.
How does DreamLab help fast-track research?
One thing slowing medical research is the limited access researchers have to supercomputers to crunch their complex data. DreamLab gives researchers access to a dedicated virtual supercomputer to accelerate research into disease like Covid-19 and different cancers. To find out about the projects that DreamLab currently supports, visit the Project Tab in the app.
What happens when DreamLab reaches the monthly data contribution limit I’ve set?
When you reach the data limit you’ve set, DreamLab will give you the option to increase your data limit. If you do nothing, DreamLab will automatically start again next month.
Is the data I donate through DreamLab tax deductible?
You’re contributing your device’s computing power and a small amount of data which is required to download and upload the research problems from the cloud to your phone. You’re not making a tax-deductible donation. Neither the Vodafone Foundation nor Imperial College London will issue a VAT receipt for any contributions made through DreamLab.
DreamLab isn’t working, how do I get help?
First have a read of these FAQs. If you still need help, visit the DreamLab app settings to send feedback. Your feedback will be incorporated into updates and future releases of DreamLab.
How do I report a bug or issue?
Please visit the DreamLab app Settings and press Send Feedback. Your feedback will be incorporated into updates and future releases of DreamLab.
How much memory will it use?
Memory usage will vary significantly depending on what device you’re using and what you’re doing while DreamLab is running. Your operating system will prioritise memory based on your usage.
Will it cause my phone to overheat?
No. The app has been designed to only draw a small amount of power from your phone. If the phone does get warmer, the app will immediately be suspended.
Can I use DreamLab on a tablet?
Yes, if it meets the operating system requirements.
Can I use DreamLab on my computer?
No, currently DreamLab is only supported on iOS and Android mobile devices.
Will my personal information be used for medical research?
No. DreamLab analyses data from cancer and Covid-19 patients that have been de-identified for research purposes.
What happens if I change phones?
You will need to re-install DreamLab to continue using it. Your contribution tallies will start again at zero.
What happens if I change mobile phone providers?
If you have kept your existing phone, then you can continue using DreamLab. If you have a new phone, you’ll need to re-install DreamLab again. Your contribution tallies will start again at zero.
Will DreamLab impact the Vodafone UK network?
No. Vodafone’s network has been built for streaming, roaming, and now speeding up cancer research.
What personal information does DreamLab collect?
DreamLab doesn’t access any of your private information or collect personal information.
Who’s behind DreamLab?
DreamLab is part of Vodafone Foundation’s global Connecting for Good programme, which promotes the use of connectivity to drive change.
DreamLab was originally developed by Vodafone Australia to support the Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s world-class cancer genomics research. DreamLab has now been brought to the UK by Vodafone UK, who are working with Imperial College London on this research project.
The ongoing goal for DreamLab is to speed up more important cancer and genomics research using the power of the smartphone.
The DreamLab server is powered by Amazon Web Services. The app was built by Transpire.
Why does my phone have to be on charge to use DreamLab?
Most of our users are concerned about battery life, which is why DreamLab has been designed to use when your phone is plugged in to charge.
How do I suggest a new feature?
Please visit the DreamLab app Settings and press Send Feedback. Your feedback will be considered for incorporation into updates and future releases of DreamLab. We’re looking at ways to show the difference users make, introduce leader-boards and team working, and better ways to share DreamLab. So please keep your feedback coming.
Can I specify the dates at which the monthly data contribution starts and ends?
No, not at the moment. Your DreamLab month is currently set to a calendar month.