As we keep on waiting for breaktrhoughs in battery technology, Apple is looking at creative ways of maximizing the autonomy of its devices, as revealed by a couple of related patent filings. The filings were published yesterday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
One patent, titled “Inferring user intent from battery usage level and charging trends”, details a way to optimize your mobile device's power consumption by using contextual clues like how often you use your smartphone, how often you charge it, and so on. Using all this information, the phone's software could alter different parameters like screen brightness, CPU clock speed, Wi-Fi connectivity, and more.
For example, if you charge your phone overnight, and start using it at the same time each morning, it would learn the duration of your working hours, or the time you use your phone the most.
The other patent, titled “Predicting user intent and future interaction from application activities”, describes a way to adjust power consumption by monitoring apps and tasks. Your phone could use your GPS location and app activity to learn how you would be using your device.
For example, if you use an eWallet application like Passbook to purchase a drink at a coffee house, your phone could use your GPS location to conclude that you will be enjoying your drink in the coffee house for the next 20 to 30 minutes, and would be using your phone for things like reading the news, playing a game, and more. Using all this information, your phone would come to know that for next 20-30 minutes, it will need the most power.
Whether or not Apple builds this technology into products is yet to be seen, but the Cupertino-based company is actively exploring ways of getting around battery life constraints. In a recent report, the company was said to be exploring new charging methods for its hardware, including magnetic induction, solar power, and charging via movement. The company is supposedly testing the technology for its long rumored iWatch.