An anonymous reader points out that a computer science research team from the University of Alabama has put together a new architecture called "Aura," which lets people make use of excess computing power from various smart devices scattered throughout their homes
. Ragib Hasan, the team's leader, says this scheme could be integrated with smartphones, letting you offload CPU-intensive tasks to your home devices
. He also anticipates the ability to sell off excess capacity — like how people with solar panels can sometimes sell the excess energy they harvest. Alternately, they could be allocated to a distributed computing project of the homeowner's choice, like Seti@home. Of course, several obstacles need to be solved before a system like Aura can be used — smart devices run on a variety of operating systems and often communicate only through a narrow set of protocols. Any unifying effort would also need careful thought about security and privacy matters.