Apple wants to reduce Bluetooth power consumption in portable devices

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has shown continued interest in improving the Bluetooth wireless standard, making it more power efficient when converting streaming media to a compatible format.

The details come from a patent application discovered this week by AppleInsider first filed in December of 2008, but re-filed as a continuation with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in February of this year. The filing, entitled "Data Format Conversion for Electronic Devices," notes that converting data to a new format can be a power-hungry process.

Portable devices, such as an iPhone or iPod touch, can convert media files stored in a compressed format to a Bluetooth-compatible format. This allows the device to wirelessly transmit media to an external device, such as a Bluetooth headset.

"The format conversion performed by the portable electronic device may quickly drain the energy stored in its battery," Apple's filing reads. "Therefore, it would be desirable to provide an energy-efficient technique for converting data to a Bluetooth-compatible format."

Compression of data is necessary with Bluetooth because the technology has a limited transmission throughput. Traditional Bluetooth converters fully decode and re-encode compressed data, which can be taxing on a device.

Apple's solution aims to "significantly lower" the number and complexity of computations executed in transmitting media over Bluetooth. Its proposed invention includes a dedicated format converter that could take a media file and produce data in a Bluetooth-compatible format in a more energy-efficient manner.

This format converter could include a band separation module, a bit allocation unit, conversion modules, and quantizers, that would decompose the frequency domain information of a file, such as AAC audio, and turn it into a plurality of data streams comprised of different sub-bands.

Patent


The format converter would then transform each data stream to a new encoding scheme, and then quantize the streams based on bit allocation for each sub-band. The included bit allocation unit would compute information for each sub-band based on an unfiltered version of the compressed data.

"The format converter can convert each data stream into a format compatible with Bluetooth," the application states. "For AAC-encoded files, for example, the format converters can convert the MDCT-based data into a format that uses a different frequency transform-based compression algorithm (e.g., DCT-based algorithm).

"Then... the format converter can assemble the transformed data streams into frames of appropriate sizes for Bluetooth transmission, and may perform other functions necessary to prepare the transformed data streams for transmission over a Bluetooth link."

The proposed invention, re-filed with the USPTO on February 6 of this year, is credited to inventor Jeff Bush.

Apple's continuing interest in improving the Bluetooth wireless standard is evidenced by a separate filing from last October discovered by AppleInsider that described a new way to power off Bluetooth-enabled electronic devices. Apple's proposed method would allow users to press just one button on one device to configure or disable multiple devices.

Apple also joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group Board of Directors last June, when it was revealed that Apple is aiding in developing the low-power Bluetooth 4.0 specification. Most of Apple's latest products, including the new iPad and iPhone 4S, also offer support for Bluetooth 4.0.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    axcess99axcess99 Posts: 29member


    "Apple wants to reduce Bluetooth power consumption in portable devices"


    Title is a bit worthless.  I would guess they also want to reduce cellular power consumption, WIFI power consumption (power in general) as well as improve graphics and cpu performance.


    Something a bit closer to the content of the article would have been more helpful.

  • Reply 2 of 11
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    axcess99 wrote: »
    "Apple wants to reduce Bluetooth power consumption in portable devices"
    Title is a bit worthless.  I would guess they also want to reduce cellular power consumption, WIFI power consumption (power in general) as well as improve graphics and cpu performance.
    Something a bit closer to the content of the article would have been more helpful.

    That was my first thought. Perhaps something like "Apple working to improve Bluetooth wireless standard." I'd say go even more sensationalist but there are enough readers that get upset when AI uses fun or enticing headlines.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    juandljuandl Posts: 228member
    Apple is gonna go this route and make Bluetooth eyeglasses. Perhaps letting that Nest maker guy do the actual glasses.
    Got a feeling that those Google glasses are gonna be popular with a certain crowd.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    straskstrask Posts: 107member


    Why don't they start by giving us an on-off light switch app so that we don't have to go through so many menus to turn bluetooth on and off.  Conservation is the best energy saver.

  • Reply 5 of 11
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by strask View Post

    Why don't they start by giving us an on-off light switch app so that we don't have to go through so many menus to turn bluetooth on and off.  Conservation is the best energy saver.


     


    "Siri, turn off my Bluetooth." "Siri, turn on Bluetooth."


     


    iOS 6 should be great in that regard.

  • Reply 6 of 11
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by strask View Post


    Why don't they start by giving us an on-off light switch app so that we don't have to go through so many menus to turn bluetooth on and off.  Conservation is the best energy saver.



     


    And then what would the pro jailbreak community have to complain about. Other than Apple taking away one more reason for folks to actually jailbreak. 

  • Reply 7 of 11
    straskstrask Posts: 107member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    "Siri, turn off my Bluetooth." "Siri, turn on Bluetooth."


     


    iOS 6 should be great in that regard.



    Yeah, it would be great.  I just said "Siri, turn on my iPhone's bluetooth." She responded "Surprisingly, that is not in my capabilities."


    I asked a second time and she said "I'd like to, Stephen, but I cannot.  My apologies."

  • Reply 8 of 11
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member


    I am all for power saving features wherever they can find them. I just wish Apple included more bluetooth protocols especially for file sharing. I am glad they finally added A2DP, but it sucks that you have to jailbreak your phone just to send or receive files to another device. 

  • Reply 9 of 11
    overlordoverlord Posts: 59member
    Yes!

    "Siri, turn on my Wifi!"
    "Siri, turn on my 3G!"
    "Siri, send SMS/EMAIL to people X when I arrive at the local Y"
    "Siri, send SMS/EMAIL to people X at time HH:MM"
    "Siri, connect to WiFi called My_Wifi_Acess_Point!"
    "Siri, unlock my iPhone/iPad!" (voice recognition?)
    "Siri, lock my iPhone/iPad!"
    and so on...
  • Reply 10 of 11
    jbanksjbanks Posts: 5member
    good idea. i hope they can extend battery life any way possible. How about a built in solar panel too?
  • Reply 11 of 11
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jbanks View Post

    How about a built in solar panel too?




    *rimshot*

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