Apple Applies for Patent on Intelligent 'Power Management for Electronic Devices'

A newly published patent application from Apple describes a "power management for electronic devices" system, which detects the usage patterns of a mobile phone and estimates the required energy needed to run the phone between charges. The abstract of the patent application, No. US 2013/0191662 (via AppleInsider), describes the system as:

A method for modifying one or more characteristics of a mobile electronic device in order to save or reduce power consumption of the device.

Closer inspection of the document reveals that the system automatically turns certain hardware features of the mobile phone (such as Wi-Fi, location services or Bluetooth) off in order to try and increase the device's battery life.

Patent Flow Diagram
The patent application, which was first filed back in January 2012, lists Michael Ingrassia, a senior software engineer at Apple who has worked the iPod nano and iPod classic (including the Radio, iPod Out, and Voice Memos features on the iPod nano), and Jeffrey T. Lee as its inventors.

In making its case for the need addressed by the described invention, the document describes a situation all too familiar to many smartphone users:

A user may charge his or her device prior to leaving for work, and while at work may use a global positioning system (GPS) for turn-by-turn directions to attend a business meeting, watch one or more videos on the device, and make multiple phone calls, all without charging the device for a number of hours. In this case, the power source may be drained before the user has the chance to recharge the device and thus cease operating.

The system described by Apple remembers charging locations where a user would typically charge their device (such as their home or place of work) as well as typical device usage (the type of power source, typical charge time and typical travel time to and from locations) by using "an on-board GPS radio", then automatically builds a power management profile based on the user's usage patterns.
Patent MapAs always with Apple patents, the technology described here may not make it into a final product, but given the limitations on battery capacity imposed by the slim mobile devices in use today, it would certainly be welcomed by many people looking to extend the battery lives of their devices.

Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

zeeklancer Avatar
108 months ago
Cool Idea

But hardly worth a patent.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zeeklancer Avatar
108 months ago
Well, nobody has it now. So it IS something new, thus a 'new idea'.

What cell phone manufacturer currently has an OS that AUTOMATICALLY turns off wi-fi/blue-tooth/GPS to save battery? And then turns it back on when needed?

Nobody has this yet, so it IS worthy of a patent.

No, No, No, NO.

That is now how patents work ... "Nobody has it so it IS worthy of a patent."

The issue here is the base idea has existed for years, and been used. The military uses such flow charts to make decisions, flight software does the same.

Patents should not be given for simply re-implementing an idea that already existed in software. It is trivial to do things in software. If it can be done without software it most defiantly can be done in software.

Most of the patents coming from software companies including apple are much like the following:

Somebody draws a picture with a pencil. Years later somebody draws a picture with a marker, yells eureka! and declares nobody else can produce pictures drawn in marker.

99% of everything in software is just a reincarnation of something that has existed years and years before computers existed. Moving existing ideas to a infinitely pliable digital world is non trivial and a obvious next step.

If you want to paten stuff it really should be on innovated new processes for making hardware, or even the hardware its self. The ORIGINAL computer and concept of a computer is paten-able.

But due to the mailability of the computer , and how it is just a canvas at most you can have copyrights on the code written its self.

Can you imagine a world where you could not paint tress because somebody had a paten on trees panted? That is exactly what is gong on in the world of software patents.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rootus Avatar
108 months ago
What cell phone manufacturer currently has an OS that AUTOMATICALLY turns off wi-fi/blue-tooth/GPS to save battery? And then turns it back on when needed?
My N4 does it. Not built-in to the OS, but the launcher I'm using supports it. Not a new idea. Prior art should kill the patent if the examiners are paying any attention.

Get used to it, Apple only leads in sales at this point. Features & technology are pioneered by other people.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zodiac.mj Avatar
108 months ago
It's good that Apple was not existent in the vast past. Would patent bread making, all water uses, and people would die (US continent fortunately, there are other places on the world free of patent nonsense) or pay to eat and live. I wonder what fees Apple would take for eating and drinking, do you have an idea? :D
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chub Avatar
108 months ago
Well, nobody has it now. So it IS something new, thus a 'new idea'.

What cell phone manufacturer currently has an OS that AUTOMATICALLY turns off wi-fi/blue-tooth/GPS to save battery? And then turns it back on when needed?

Nobody has this yet, so it IS worthy of a patent.

Maybe not a phone, but the Nissan Leaf pretty much does exactly this. If you are out of range of a charging station it will warn you and suggest that you turn of air conditioning and reduce power consumption as much as possible.

Either way there are apps available on Android and the App Store that both do pretty much this anyway.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chub Avatar
108 months ago
This isn't really a new idea...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
iOS 15 General Feature Yellow

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 6: SharePlay Disabled, Safari Redesigned and More

Tuesday August 17, 2021 2:12 pm PDT by
Apple released the sixth beta of iOS 15 just a week after the fifth beta, but the new update brings some of the most significant tweaks that we've seen to iOS 15 during the beta testing period. Safari Redesign Apple in iOS 15 beta 6 has added a toggle to move the Safari address bar to the top of the interface, which returns Safari to an iOS 14-like design and mitigates all of the Safari...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...