July 25, 2013
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published a new Apple patent application for an intuitive mobile device control system. The technology is said to power down certain components depending on a users’ location and habits, allowing for better battery life. The “power management for electronic devices” application notes a method for “modifying one or more characteristics of a mobile electronic device in order to save or reduce power consumption of the device.” It does so by determining a mobile device owner’s usage patterns, and estimating the required energy needed to run the phone between charges. One way of doing this would be through the phone’s GPS radio. As noted in the filing:
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.This patent application was first filed in January 2012. It credits Apple’s Michael I. Ingrassia, Jr. and Jeffery T. Lee as its inventors. For other recent Apple patent news, see: Apple Wants To Make Being Placed On Hold Somewhat Enjoyable, Apple Is Working On A Motion Touch Device For iMacs, and Could This Be The iWatch Battery?