A more technical version of how DreamLab works.
Garvan has a huge research project - called Project Demystify - in the cloud. This project has over 26 million different micro-problems that need crunching in order to understand and make sense of the data.
When you power DreamLab, you’re downloading one of these 26 million problems to crunch - using your phone’s computing power.
Project Demystify seeks to understand cancer based on a patient’s DNA profile, rather than the tissue in which their cancer started.
For example, one of the problems that your phone could solve is comparing a tiny part of genetic information from a breast cancer patient to that of a pancreatic cancer patient. DreamLab conducts a calculation (using a special algorithm) to understand what is similar and different genetically between these two patients.
Patterns in the calculations will help researchers identify patients who share similar DNA mutation profiles, even though they might have ‘different’ cancers.
In this example, the calculations might show that the patient with breast cancer, and the other with pancreatic cancer actually share similar DNA profiles, which means they might respond to the same drug. And if you have an aggressive cancer, then getting the right drug - matched to your DNA - at the right time, can make all the difference.
The combination of a large community (our DreamLab users), coupled with big data analysis, makes this revolutionary form of research possible.
How is DreamLab different to other grid computing systems and apps?
Since 2002, Berkley 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 (i.e. does not use BOINC) that crunches our research partners projects. DreamLab is the first of its kind to be available for users on Android and iOS.
How does DreamLab help fast track research?
One thing slowing cancer and genomics research is the limited access researchers have to supercomputers to crunch their complex data. DreamLab gives our research partners free access to a dedicated virtual supercomputer to accelerate research into cancer and genomics. It also frees up in-house computing resources for other research activity. To find out about the projects that DreamLab currently supports, visit the Project tab in the app.
How do I know if I’m making a difference?
By powering DreamLab, you’re helping to crunch calculations, to help complete cancer research projects, faster. Already our users have doubled the pace of research. You can find out more about the research and how you’re making a difference in the Newsfeed section of the app, and we’ll also continue to make improvements to DreamLab to help you better understand the contribution you’re making.
Which research organisations does DreamLab support?
To find out about the research partners that DreamLab currently supports, visit the Project tab in the app.
Vodafone Australia Foundation is proud to support the Garvan Institute of Medical Research - a driving force behind the transformation of medicine in Australia. Its discoveries have also benefited people around the world. For over 50 years, significant medical breakthroughs have been achieved by Garvan scientists in the understanding and treatment of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, mental illness, osteoporosis, asthma, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Garvan's ultimate goal is prevention, treatment or cure of these and other major diseases. You can find out more at www.garvan.org.au/dreamlab.
How does DreamLab work faster than super computers?
Based on our tests, 33 new devices will analyse the same amount 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 focussed on supporting research relating to cancer and/or genomics.
What happens when a project reaches 100% complete?
When DreamLab users have crunched 100% of the project, this means the researchers can then take all the completed calculations, and use these to draw insights and make conclusions. Keep an eye on the app Newsfeed for more information about a project when it reaches 100% complete. We’ll also be sure to let you know what the researchers find, when they have completed their analysis.
How else can I support the research?
To find out how else you can support one of our research partners, click on their logo from the Projects tab in the app.
Whose cancer / genetic information does DreamLab analyse?
DreamLab analyses somatic mutations from cancer patients that has been de-identified for research purposes.
How many research problems will my phone solve each night?
It depends on how powerful your phone is, and how many hours it’s plugged in and charging. As a guide, a new device will solve approximately 1,800 tiny research problems if plugged in and fully charged for six hours. Over a month, it would use just over 500MB of data.
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.
How do I start using DreamLab?
If you have an Android device, download DreamLab from Google Play. DreamLab will automatically start when your phone is plugged in to charge and reaches 80% charged, or you can press ‘Power DreamLab’ anytime.
On iOS devices, download DreamLab from the App Store. DreamLab will start when you press ‘Power DreamLab’ within the application, and place your phone down, without pressing the home or lock buttons. If you press home, open another application, or use your phone, DreamLab will stop. You can start it again by pressing ‘Power DreamLab’. If you have auto lock set up on your phone, it will not be activated whilst using DreamLab.
DreamLab is not able to work in the background on iOS so we recommend you set a reminder, so that you don’t forget to power DreamLab each night.
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 stop using DreamLab?
Disconnect your phone from charge, or press ‘End Session’. To stop using DreamLab permanently, uninstall the app.
I live in another country, can I still use DreamLab?
Yes, the DreamLab app can be downloaded from anywhere in the world. You’ll be charged as per your mobile or WiFi plan for the data you contribute, unless you’re with Vodafone Australia in which case the mobile data to use DreamLab is free on the Vodafone network in Australia. Roaming incurs international rates.
Will DreamLab use data from my mobile plan, or WiFi?
DreamLab needs data to download the tiny research problems from the cloud, and send the results back.
If your phone detects that WiFi is available, then DreamLab will work over WiFi. WiFi is automatically set to ‘unlimited’ but you can change this any time in the app Settings.
If WiFi is not available, then DreamLab will work over your mobile network, using data up to the monthly data contribution limit you have chosen (0MB, 50MB, 250MB, 500MB or 1GB). If you don’t want DreamLab to ever use your mobile data, you can set mobile data to 0MB in the app Settings.
For Vodafone Australia customers, it’s free to use DreamLab on the Vodafone network in Australia (but if you’re also contributing over WiFi, you’ll be charged as per your WiFi plan). Roaming incurs international rates.
For everyone else, you’ll be charged as per your mobile plan for the data you contribute.
Just be mindful, DreamLab works on a calendar month, which might not be in sync with your billing cycle. You can see when your DreamLab monthly cycle will restart in the app settings. DreamLab will pause when you reach the monthly data limit that you’ve chosen. At this point, you’ll be given the choice to increase your data contribution, turn on WiFi, or do nothing and DreamLab will resume again the next calendar month.
Roaming on a mobile network incurs international rates – including for Vodafone Australia customers.
How much data will DreamLab use?
It’s up to you. On your mobile network, you can choose to give up to 50MB, 250MB, 500MB or 1GB a month. For WiFi, you can choose to give up to 250MB, 1GB or ‘unlimited’ a month. You can change how much data you contribute at any time in the DreamLab app Settings.
As a guide, 50MB is about the same as uploading 25 photos to social media a month. 500MB is approximately equivalent to streaming a video for 1.5 hours a month. 1GB is similar to streaming a video for 3 hours a month. You can see how much data DreamLab has used in the app settings, and when your DreamLab month will restart.
How much will it cost me to use DreamLab?
For Vodafone Australia customers, it’s free to use DreamLab on the Vodafone Australia network (but if you’re also contributing over WiFi, you’ll be charged as per your WiFi plan). Roaming incurs roaming rates – including for Vodafone Australia customers.
For everyone else, you’ll be charged for the data you contribute each month as per the plan you have with your mobile phone or WiFi provider. Just be mindful, 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.
Why can’t I give more data on my mobile plan?
At the moment, DreamLab users can give up to 500MB a month on their mobile network. Our users have told us this is the upper limit that they’re most comfortable with, but we’ll continue to monitor this.
Why does DreamLab need data to work?
Whilst you’re donating the processing power of your Smartphone, DreamLab needs data to download the tiny 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 on WiFi. You can change your monthly data contribution limit in the app Settings at any time.
How do I only use DreamLab over WiFi?
Go to the DreamLab app Settings, and set mobile data to 0MB.
How do I only use DreamLab over my mobile network?
Go to the DreamLab app Settings and turn WiFi off.
What happens when DreamLab has reached 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, or do nothing, and DreamLab will automatically start again the next month.
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.
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 Australia and you’re running low on mobile data you can turn off the mobile data contribution in the DreamLab app Settings so that DreamLab does not use any more mobile data.
If you’re with Vodafone Australia and receive an alert regarding your mobile usage, as it’s free to use DreamLab on the Vodafone Australia network in the Australia, so you can continue to use DreamLab without penalty.
I’m with Vodafone. How do I know I’m not being charged for the mobile data DreamLab uses?
For Vodafone Australia customers, the mobile data to use DreamLab is free on the Vodafone Australia network. It won’t even appear on your bill. It won’t count towards your monthly data allowance.
If you’ve chosen to also give over WiFi, then you’ll be charged for this data as per the plan you have with your WiFi provider. Roaming incurs roaming rates – including for Vodafone Australia customers.
I’m travelling overseas. What should I do with DreamLab?
Using DreamLab when roaming will incur international rates.
On Android devices, in the app Settings DreamLab is set to default OFF when roaming on a mobile network, which means if you are roaming, DreamLab won’t caluculate research problems using your mobile data. However if you have WiFi set to ON in the app Settings, DreamLab will continue to work on WiFi when overseas. If you’d like to not use DreamLab on WiFi when overseas, you can turn WiFi OFF in the app Settings.
On iOS devices, to avoid roaming charges, do not press ‘Power DreamLab’ to start the app whilst roaming. You can also turn the mobile data to 0MB in the app Settings.
I live overseas, can I still use DreamLab?
Yes, the DreamLab app can be downloaded from anywhere in the world. You’ll be charged as per your mobile or WiFi plan for the data you contribute, unless you’re with Vodafone Australia, in which case the mobile data to use DreamLab is free on the Vodafone Australia network.
Is the data I donate through DreamLab tax deductible?
You are contributing your Device’s computing power and a small amount of data which is required to download and upload the tiny research problems from the cloud to your handset. You are not making a tax-deductible donation to Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Vodafone Foundation or Garvan Institute of Medical Research will not issue a tax 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, please visit the DreamLab app Settings and press 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 do I suggest a new feature?
Please visit the DreamLab app Settings and press Send Feedback. Your feedback will be incorporated into updates and future releases of DreamLab. Already, we’re looking at ways to better communicate the difference users make, introduce leader-boards and the ability to work in teams, and better ways to share DreamLab. So please keep your feedback coming!
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, Blackberry and other.
Will it drain my battery?
DreamLab will work automatically when your phone is plugged in and charging. If you choose to use DreamLab when your phone is not on charge, then like any application, DreamLab will utilise battery power.
Will it slow my phone or interfere with me using my phone as normal?
On Android, you can still use your phone as normal whilst powering DreamLab.
On iPhone, if you press the home or lock buttons, open another app, or use your phone, DreamLab will stop solving research problems. For this reason, it’s best to press ‘Power DreamLab’ just before you go to be at night, when you’re less likely to use your phone.
How much memory will it use?
Memory usage will vary significantly depending on what device you are using and what you are doing while DreamLab is running. Your operating system will prioritise memory based on your usage.
Can I select how much CPU DreamLab uses?
No, not at the moment.
Will it cause my phone to overheat?
No. The app has been designed to only draw a small amount of power from your phone.
Can I use DreamLab on a tablet?
Yes if you have the operating system requirements.
Can I use DreamLab on my computer or TV?
No, currently DreamLab is only supported on iOS and Android devices. Extending DreamLab to other platforms may be considered in the future.
Will my personal information be used for medical research?
No. DreamLab analyses mutations from cancer patients that has 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 handset, then you can continue using DreamLab. If you have a new handset, you’ll need to re-install DreamLab again. Your contribution tallies will start again at zero.
Will DreamLab impact the Vodafone Australia network?
No. Vodafone’s network has been built for streaming, roaming, and now - speeding up cancer research.
Will it access private information on my phone?
DreamLab does not access private information on your phone.
On Android devices only, the app requests access to photos, media, files permission in order to store the tiny research problems whilst they are being processed and calculated by your phone. DreamLab will only access the files it has created in the files directories. DreamLab does not need access to any of your private information or photos to be able to calculate these tiny research problems.
On iOS devcies, DreamLab does not access any of your private information.
DreamLab uses the processing power of your smart phone to solve research problems and allows you to remain anonymous while doing so.
What personal information does DreamLab collect?
DreamLab does not access any of your private information or collect personal information.
On Android devices only, the app requests access to photos, media, files permission in order to store the tiny research problems whilst they are being processed and solved by your phone. DreamLab will only access the files it has created in the files directories. DreamLab does not need access to any of your private information or photos to be able to solve tiny research problems.
Who’s behind DreamLab
DreamLab is part of Vodafone Foundation’s global “Connecting for Good” program, which promotes the use of connectivity to drive change.
DreamLab was originally developed by Vodafone Australia Foundation to support Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s world-class cancer genomics research.
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 the clever team at Transpire.
*Multi-award winning app. DreamLab has been awarded with the following:
A compatible handset is required. Downloading DreamLab will consume data. Once downloaded, DreamLab can be used when your device (i) is connected to a charging source and (ii) has mobile network or WiFi connectivity. Mobile data to use DreamLab is free for Vodafone Australia customers on the Vodafone Australia network. Roaming incurs international rates.
For the DreamLab privacy statement, please see the DreamLab Privacy page.
End User Terms
For the full list of end user terms and conditions please visit our DreamLab User Terms page.
By downloading, installing or otherwise using the DreamLab application on your Device, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms, you should not download, install or otherwise use DreamLab Application.