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Apple Patent Details Learning, Customizable Power Management Scheme

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A newly published patent application named “Power management for electronic devices” gives a sneak peak into how Apple plans to save iPhone battery life depending on location and usage patterns.

The application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by AppleInsider, describes a system that aims to bring a welcome solution to our everyday iPhone issue: battery life. As the patent shows, Apple is working on a technology that learns the owner’s mobile device usage patterns and then achieves maximum battery life by dynamically turning off hardware or software, combined with location awareness.

The patent abstract writes:

A method for modifying one or more characteristics of a mobile electronic device in order to save or reduce power consumption of the device. The method includes determining by, a processor of the mobile electronic device, an estimated use of the mobile electronic device during an upcoming time period; using the estimated use, determining, by the processor, whether an internal power source of the mobile electronic device has sufficient power to continue operation of the mobile electronic device in a first state during the upcoming time period; based on the estimated use and the internal power source, if the internal power source does not have sufficient power, adjusting the one or more characteristics to reduce a power consumption of the mobile electronic device during the upcoming time period.

So, how does the system work? The example used in the application describes the following usage pattern between the charges: the owner charges the device at home, goes to work using GPS navigation, watches vides, places phone calls.

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In order the reach maximum battery life, the system will learn the owner’s usage habits, alongside charging locations so it can estimate the time needed for using the battery, and it elaborates a power management scheme.

What is great about this approach is that the power management scheme profile can be updated with manual input, so there is a certain level of customization.

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An interesting twist is that the system can determine who is using the device, based on the aforementioned usage patterns.

However, as with each Apple patent, we don’t know if the company will ever implement the described technology, but it certainly details some possible forthcoming features. Apple credits Michael I. Ingrassia, Jr., and Jeffery T. Lee as inventors.

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