It’s happened to the best of us: that dreadful moment when your phone runs out of battery. It usually happens at the worst times too. But that could soon no longer be an issue for iPhone users, as Apple has filed two patents for battery-conserving technology that learns how and when we use our devices.
The technology will be able to intelligently determine peaks of mobile activity and your work schedule. So your phone may be able to see that you use your device in the morning and evening, but not during the heart of the day when you work. During those inactive hours, your phone would turn off certain features and apps to conserve battery life. Or your phone could be smart enough to learn that you use your phone less on a certain day of the week or perhaps several days. If you don’t use your phone much on Mondays, for example, or if you’re a weekend phone junkie, your mobile device will know and adjust its battery use accordingly.
With this technology your phone could even distinguish when it’s being charged out of need or just for convenience by assessing the total amount of battery charge versus battery capacity. For instance, if the amount of charge you use during the day is less than the battery’s overall capacity, then you’re charging before it’s out of juice and the phone knows this is convenience charging. If the charge used, however, is greater than the battery’s capacity, the iPhone would know you’re using your phone until it runs out of juice. The new technology would then modify the iPhone’s power management system to extend the battery capacity, so you wouldn’t need to charge at that time anymore.
Apple is developing this feature in response to criticisms about iPhones and their short battery life. The two patents, titled “Predicting User Intent And Future Interaction From Application Activities” and “Inferring User Intent From Battery Usage Level and Charging Trends” were filed on September 20, 2012. While these patent applications may take some time to be approved, soon your Apple smartphone could get a little smarter.