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Apple's smart iPhone power management system would track trends to boost battery life

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
iPhone owners may be able to go even longer between charges in the future, thanks to a new power management system Apple is exploring that would learn users' habits and dynamically adjust the handset's performance.

Battery


The system was revealed Thursday in an Apple patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and discovered by AppleInsider. Entitled "Inferring User Intent From Battery Usage Level and Charging Trends," the patent details a method in which a mobile device would monitor the charge and discharge cycles of its battery and use that information to predict what the user will be doing at any given time.

Using those predictions, the device could then alter various parameters - like screen brightness or the CPU clock speed -- to either conserve battery life or deliver maximum processing power:

One area of focus is instantaneous and long term power budgeting. At any given time the information from the heuristics indicates how best to allocate the limited power budget (limited by power supply design or the device's thermal capability) between the various devices. One could imagine the user being happy with a slightly darker screen when in a dark room if it means that more power can be given to the GPU and the performance of the game increased. Long term power budgeting is concerned with ensuring that the device's power usage over time does not deplete the battery and interrupt the user.



To further refine the power management process, Apple imagines taking into account ambient data from the device's gyroscope, light sensor, geographic location, and wireless networking stack. These would be used to build an even more detailed profile, allowing the device to respond more quickly to sudden changes in behavior.

Finally, Apple could also analyze the applications the user is interacting with:

Another example could be using an eWallet application such as Passbook to purchase a drink at a coffee house. This coupled with GPS location largely staying the same would suggest that the user will be enjoying their drink in the coffee house for the next 20 to 30 minutes. If they should be using their device in that time period they are likely to be doing so intently, (reading the news, playing a game, etc.), such that they would like their device to be particularly responsive. This sort of information could tell the power management system that for the next 20-30 minutes it is in the user's best interest to sacrifice some battery life in favor of improved performance.



Apple credits Joshua P. De Cesare and Gaurav Kapoor for the invention of U.S. Patent Application No. 20140082384.
post #2 of 15
Not to mention which App to give power to and temporarily stop other processes, at particular times.
post #3 of 15
Most likely this is already in use, they talked about this with Maverick
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Most likely this is already in use, they talked about this with Maverick

Wasn't that a more efficient ways to use the processor in spurts to maximize power use?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #5 of 15
How typical of today's patent applications. There's much mention of self-evident, beneficial results that should never be patentable coupled with mere arm-waving about how it would be done. Saying it'll be done with software says nothing.

We need to go back to how patents used to be issued. You had to bring in a working model and what you patented only covered how that particular device worked. You could not patent merely the idea of lighting a room with electricity. You could only patent one way of doing it, say a bamboo fiber in a glass bulb from which all the air had been removed.

It also used to be a matter of honor not to do certain things even though they were legal. But as C. S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man, any sense of honor seems to have departed our society, leaving only the pursuit of money, fame or popularity. In this case its the dishonor of patenting mere doodles.
post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
We need to go back to how patents used to be issued. You had to bring in a working model

 

So you’re either preventing thousands of inventors from being rewarded for their ideas at all or forcing them to be on the payroll of patent troll companies who give them a fraction of the compensation they deserve.

 
…and what you patented only covered how that particular device worked.

 

That’s fine, though.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #7 of 15
The first sentence is amusing. Going EVEN longer between cycles. Is this compared to the two charges it requires daily after upgrading to iOS 7.1?
post #8 of 15

No, all I'm saying is that people must only patent a particular and workable solution to a problem. That's what patents were in the past. 

 

Today's patent schema lets them patent an problem by simply waving their arms about and saying that, "Something I plan to do in the future will solve this problem." It also unfairly favors those who file first, even if, when they file, they haven't got a clue as to what the solution is.

 

The present scheme favors large corporations who have in-house lawyers who can whip up these patent applications in an idle afternoon and perhaps use them to target a lone developer who actually had the integrity to develop a workable solution before he went to the patent office. The latter also can't afford to scatter out hundreds of patents in the hope that one will be handy for stomping on a competitor (i.e. Apple against Samsung).

 

The patent system is broken and by filing these sorts of applications, Apple is not helping efforts to fix it.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Wasn't that a more efficient ways to use the processor in spurts to maximize power use?

And thusly dramatically affecting battery life, instead of just pedal to the metal all the time.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar View Post

The first sentence is amusing. Going EVEN longer between cycles. Is this compared to the two charges it requires daily after upgrading to iOS 7.1?

 

My battery life is far better on iOS 7.1. Care to explain that to me?

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So you’re either preventing thousands of inventors from being rewarded for their ideas at all or forcing them to be on the payroll of patent troll companies who give them a fraction of the compensation they deserve.

You are right when you say that inventors should be rewarded for ideas, but those should be ideas on "how" to implement something and not ideas on "what" to implement.

For example, let's imagine that I file a patent about a method to unlock phone using audio captured by microphone to be matched with owner voice (without any working implementation), then someone manage to actually perform real-time voice recognition with phone in standby so that phone can be unlocked. This is a blatant patent infringement of my idea, even if I am not able to invent it. So (in my opinion) idea to be patented should be highly detailed (down to formulas) or a working implementation should be shown with comparison with standard implementation.
post #12 of 15
Totally agree on the patent system being broken. Today companies either treat these easy to obtain patents like sandbags used to build a defensive dike against litigation or as weapons (offensive and defensive). The bar is way too low and is stifling innovation. I have nothing against patents but make the submitter earn it with proof of viability and utility. Ideas are just ideas. Innovations are only real if they deliver value. Show us what you've got.

The other side of this is that the people reviewing patent submissions are often overworked and under qualified.
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by bradipao View Post
You are right when you say that inventors should be rewarded for ideas, but those should be ideas on "how" to implement something and not ideas on "what" to implement.

 

You know, I flip back and forth occasionally on this. Between “patent an idea” and “patent the implementation of an idea”, that is. There are some ideas that have all the right in the world to be patented.

 

If the very concept of such-and-such has never been thought of in the history of humanity, why shouldn’t I, its creator, be able to solely profit off of my innovation? I’ll try to think of something, specifically, from history. I’d like to use calculus as an example, but mathematics is not invented. Mathematics is simply our explanation for what is already there, so it’s invalid as a patent idea. But I guess you can see what I’m getting at by bringing it up, right? Here’s a brand new way of not only looking at something, but performing actions you could never do before. Having the sole licensable rights for a period of time on something on the order of magnitude of calculus (but, again, as a creation, not it itself, as an explanation of the world) should be patentable.

 

And then there’s the other side of things, where it makes no sense to patent the concept of powered flight, for example. There are myriad implementations of powered flight (standard plane, flapping, helicopter, VTOL, etc.).

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #14 of 15
Let's face it. Currently no smartphone maker other than Apple goes to these great lengths in order to reduce power consumption by optimizing hardware, software and usability. Anybody else is looking for a bigger battery.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

You know, I flip back and forth occasionally on this. Between “patent an idea” and “patent the implementation of an idea”, that is. There are some ideas that have all the right in the world to be patented.

 

 

One can debate whether one should be able to patent a mere idea instead of a working implementation, but the law seems quite clear:

 

"The specification must include a written description of the invention and of the manner and process of making and using it, and is required to be in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the technological area to which the invention pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same." ((http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/general_info_concerning_patents.jsp#heading-17):)

 

In other words, any competent programmer should be able to translate the patent claims into a working product. This is why most software patents are in my opinion bogus, since they almost never specify the implementation details. 


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/20/14 at 7:39pm
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