Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is constantly tinkering with its products, but this time the company’s talking about more than just minor upgrades and fancy new applications.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published an Apple patent application on Thursday that claims a dramatic improvement to a users’ battery life.
The battery is the one component we all still wish were better. That’s why Apple is constantly changing the size of its phone. And that’s why Apple’s competition, like HTC and its larger 5” plus device, has seen so much success.
If you compare the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5’s battery, it is rated as 3.8 volts and 1440 mAh versus 3.7 volts and 1432 mAh. Just a minor change in the battery was able to add another 225 hours of standby time to the device. I still like my 4S better, but I’m also not much for change. The rest of the world, on the other hand, went crazy for the upgrade.
This new idea seems a bit far-fetched to me, but considering what Apple has achieved over the years, it’s at least worth a look. And if it happens, WOW…
Apple’s claim: it plans to learn your habits – your walk, your talk, and all the functions you use on your iPhone on a daily basis – to intuitively adjust its power consumption to only use maximum battery power when needed.
If this is true, then your smartphone just got a whole heck of a lot smarter. Instead of just sitting there in your pocket, your phone is essentially tracking your every move, and before long it’s going to know your next step even before you do by following a pattern that you created – your daily ritual, so to speak.
The mobile device control system would automatically power down components according to a user’s location and habits, in effect, maximizing battery life.
The patent, titled “Power management for electronic devices”, patent application No. U.S. 2013/0191662, was first filed back in January of 2012. It credits Michael Ingrassia, a senior software engineer at Apple, and Jeffrey T. Lee as its inventors.
The patent also lists additional devices like laptops, music players, and gaming consoles as part of its power-saving initiative.
Aspects that would be monitored: location and length of daily commute.
Using these two aspects specifically, your smartphone would have the power to determine how much power the device will need and be able to estimate how long the device may be away from a power source, i.e. your home or office.
The system will remember where it is getting charged based on previous data, and from there, it will be more apt at managing its power usage. In addition, it would track the duration of a typical charge time and the travel time it usually takes to get from point A to point B.
All this would be controlled by what Apple is calling “an on-board GPS radio” that will build a management portfolio based on the tracking data it collects.
You, of course, would also be able to manually adjust the system to certain specifications to offer a level of customization, something similar to your modern phone that lets you change settings to create better battery life.
As the device begins to learn your routine, it would automatically adjust things like screen brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and any hardware feature that affects battery life in order to maximize its potential.
But what happens if we go out of range, take a vacation, or just decide to drop off the face of the earth?
The device will automatically detect that you’re out of range and will sustain battery life for as long as possible – a real selling point if you’re going to get lost in the desert or something.
And lastly, the device would be able to deduce who is using the device based on patterns that emerge. If two people use the same device, it would format its power usage specifically by recognizing each profile it has created.
This latest Apple patent, like many others in the company’s designs, may or may not make it to final product, but with the limitations of our current batteries, it would be a much welcomed idea.
If anyone can pull it off, I’ve got say, it’s Apple.
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