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Apple invention uses location, usage patterns to save iPhone battery life

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application for an intuitive mobile device control system that automatically powers down certain components depending on a user's location and habits, thus maximizing battery life.

Power Management
Source: USPTO


In its aptly named application, "Power management for electronic devices," Apple describes a system that detects a mobile device owner's usage patterns, estimates the required energy needed to run the phone between charges, and dynamically turns hardware off or closes running software to achieve maximum battery life. The invention also brings location data into the mix for enhanced efficiency.

According to the document's background, the invention is designed to compensate for power-hungry mobile devices and increased user interaction. As an example, the filing notes a typical user may charge their device before leaving for work, then use GPS navigation, watch videos and make multiple phone calls before having a chance to recharge. While battery drain is not a critical concern for all users at all times, some situations, like traveling, call for a longer lasting phone.

To help reduce power consumption, Apple proposes a system that can compare the estimated time period a user will spend on their device with battery reserves, determining whether the device has sufficient power to last for said period. If the battery does not have sufficient power, the system will adjust "one or more characteristics" to conserve energy.

In one embodiment, the system can store charging locations and corresponding device data by using an on-board GPS radio. Example data can be type of power source, typical charge time, and typical travel time to and from locations. The device then stores the typical charging locations and usage patterns in a database, from which a power management scheme is calculated.

Power Management
Flowchart of basic power management cycle.


From the filing's description:

For example, using a GPS sensor the mobile electronic device may determine, based on its current location, that it may be at least eight hours before the mobile electronic device will be recharged or otherwise connected to an external power source. In this case, the mobile electronic device may modify the power management scheme by adjusting one or more characteristics or settings. In some examples, the mobile electronic device may reduce a data fetching rate (e.g., for email or other data), decrease a display brightness, turn off select applications or prevent those applications from running, and so on.


The power management profile can be dynamically updated depending on usage requirements or location. Users can manually adjust or input charging data into the system, allowing for a certain level of customization.

Finally, the method can also deduce who is using the device based on typical usage patterns. For example, one device user may take a specific route to work, while another may stay at home near a charging location. Based on the selected profile, the system is able to predict usage for a given time period and mete out energy accordingly.

Power Management
Flowchart of power management cycle with customization options.


It is unknown if Apple plans to implement the technology in a future device, but the company's iPhone and iPad lineup is expanding its feature set, while decreasing in physical size. A system that is able to dynamically manage power in an intuitive and effective manner would be a welcome addition to any portable device.

Apple's GPS-enabled power management system patent application was first filed for in 2012 and credits Michael I. Ingrassia, Jr. and Jeffery T. Lee as its inventors.
post #2 of 17
This one should be easy for Google to copy; they already know Android users' patterns ¡
post #3 of 17

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

This one should be easy for Google to copy; they already know Android users' patterns ¡

 

I would simply have responded to this with - lol.gif but the message would have been too short, so I'll say this - lol.gif lol.gif

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
Reply
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
Reply
post #4 of 17
This is why the fanboy arguments get so heated..Google doesn't have to copy anything. It already exists . Look it up. "Smart actions". Implemented by Motorola.

But of course, until Apple does it, it never really existed..go outside of your bubble every now and then guys..the rest of the tech world is pretty cool too.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

I would simply have responded to this with - lol.gif  but the message would have been too short, so I'll say this - lol.gif  lol.gif

I once tried setting my Gmail password to penis, but Google told me it was too short.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtschultz93 View Post

This is why the fanboy arguments get so heated..Google doesn't have to copy anything. It already exists . Look it up. "Smart actions". Implemented by Motorola.

But of course, until Apple does it, it never really existed..go outside of your bubble every now and then guys..the rest of the tech world is pretty cool too.

I know other tech companies are cool, but I prefer a freezer-burn compared to cool.
post #7 of 17
It's about time they made GPS location more key to the iDevice's running.
My iPad knows the wifi networks I know so it should know where the networks are so why can it not automatically turn off wifi when I'm not near a known hotspot.
Also, I'd only like my screen unlock password to be asked when I'm out of the house as that's when I need the security.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

It's about time they made GPS location more key to the iDevice's running.
My iPad knows the wifi networks I know so it should know where the networks are so why can it not automatically turn off wifi when I'm not near a known hotspot.
Also, I'd only like my screen unlock password to be asked when I'm out of the house as that's when I need the security.

 

Excellent idea so once its off you have to switch it on manually when you return home and you will need to use your password to do it.
post #9 of 17

This seems like a really bad idea to me.  

 

I can't think of any situation where it would save anything but the tiniest amounts of power and lots of situations where turning off radios or not getting emails (without notifying the user mind you) could be disastrous.  At minimum, one would want to be notified of the changes, and I don't see any mention of that at all. 

post #10 of 17
"Apple invention" Invented a power management policy now did they? A complete fail on this 'war chest' one but nice try Apple.
post #11 of 17
This improve all day battery life rating but it will never make it where your battery lasts.
post #12 of 17
Interesting to hear "Use Location" and "Save Battery" in the same sentence...
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Interesting to hear "Use Location" and "Save Battery" in the same sentence...

That was my first thought as well, actually.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiffy31 View Post

 

Excellent idea so once its off you have to switch it on manually when you return home and you will need to use your password to do it.

 

Not necessarily.  My phone does exactly what that poster was talking about.  The WiFi turns on/off based on cell tower connections (using GPS would be battery intensive). The phone turns my keyguard on/off depending on if I'm connected to my home WiFi.  Everything happens automatically.  There's no need to go in and manually mess with stuff.


Edited by DroidFTW - 7/25/13 at 9:33am
post #15 of 17
BatteryGuru from Qualcom already does something like this, so prior art should come into affect!
post #16 of 17

A simple geofence setting for WiFi would be fantastic. I don't want it burning battery life looking for a network while I'm walking down the street or driving in my car. 

post #17 of 17
But that would involve abandoning the metal chassis. WIfi and network really do boost the GPS to compensate for any niggles caused.
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