Prof. David Wentzlaff and graduate student Mohammad Shahrad demonstrated that it is possible to build servers out of ranks of old smartphones. Servers are specialized computers that provide data, storage or computing power to other computers. They are at the heart of the internet, from social media or video streaming to high-security banking.
The research showed that not only are smartphone servers feasible, they are often cheaper to build and operate than conventional high-end servers. More details can be found here.