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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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:
    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.

    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:
    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.
    As 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.

    Article Link: Apple Applies for Patent on Intelligent 'Power Management for Electronic Devices'
  2. macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
  3. macrumors 6502a

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Great idea... Let's see if they can integrate it into iOS 10.
  4. macrumors 68000

    Apr 22, 2008
  5. macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2013
  6. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2007
    Present what options to the user? Do you want this app to run properly or run poorly and preserve battery?
  7. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    This is a really nice idea.

    Not only offering to reduce power, but knowing how much to reduce it by based on use patterns and likely charging locations.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2012
    probably a wash...conserve battery by turning off certain settings, but you gotta leave the GPS radio on 24/7. Plus the whole privacy thing.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    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.
  10. macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    Estimating what I'll be doing on my phone sounds really fun!:rolleyes:
  11. macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2013
    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.
  12. macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2013
    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
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2008
    Portland, OR
    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.
  14. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2012
    A different implementation, but hardly a new idea.
  15. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    Arent patents often about implementation? Is Apple's proposed implementation exactly the same as this prior art? If it is then the patent shouldn't be approved.
  16. macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2010
    I don't know about you, but I pay every time I eat. I don't get my food for free and I pay for water and land (if you wanted to take the, "I could grow my own food" route).
  17. ElTorro, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2013
    There are apps available, such as JuiceDefender (for Android). Of course you need an OS that allows apps to change settings...

    5 preset profiles (from default mode to full customization)
    easy and intuitive user interface (ads free!)
    2 home screen widgets
    mobile data toggle automation
    2G/3G toggle automation**
    WiFi toggle automation + auto-disabling option
    location-aware WiFi control (e.g. enable WiFi only at home/work, disable it otherwise)

    battery consumption optimization (e.g. when screen off, battery under threshold, etc.)
    comprehensive connectivity scheduling (regular schedule, night time/peak time, week days/weekends)
    connectivity control for specific apps (e.g. when Pandora is running, leave connectivity on no matter what)
    CPU scaling when phone is idle**
  18. macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    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.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    This seems pretty cool, hoping this comes up in iOS 8. I think the "I know what and where" you are doing stuff features are pretty cool.

    In iOS 7 they are tracking frequent routes and although I work at home, it's cool to be able to see how long it will take to get to work today. My girl constantly hits a bad accident every other week and would be nice to know so she can leave early without having to do anything.
  20. macrumors 68030


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Get used to it, Apple only leads in sales at this point. Features & technology are pioneered by other people.[/QUOTE]

    Built into the OS is different than an app. But anyways...

    First, the examiners are NOT paying any attention. The patent examiners are not experts in every facet of the fields in which they approve patents. Their research involves simply looking for prior art in EXISTING patents. If nobody else has sent a patent request for this, this patent WILL BE APPROVED.

    Having a patent approved and being able to enforce the patent are two different things. Apple must prove that there is no prior art in a court. It's possible Apple DID think of it first YEARS ago before the other apps were available, it's also possible Apple did NOT think of it first.

    But they have a patent, which sadly, can put companies out of business who do not have the money to hire lawyers to fight Apple.

    Your last statement is false. Apple does have very smart engineers, and does come up with many new ideas, and so do many other companies. There should be a site detailing other dumb patents from other companies as well. Google patents the ridiculous as well.
  21. macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2012
  22. macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    Better power management + New battery chemistry = Win
  23. macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    The thinness war is getting out of control. I don't mind my phone being 1mm, 2mm thicker if packed with a higher capacity battery. iPad is the same thing, instead of shrinking the size and keep the 10hr battery, why not keep the size and make it 15 hrs battery.
  24. macrumors 68030


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Maybe my choice of words was bad. If nobody has a patent on something, it might not be 'worthy' of a patent, but a patent will be given. A court fight will determine if the patent is 'valid' and if there is any prior art.

    Apple is not patenting 'flow charts'. The algorithm that the flow charts detail is what Apple is patenting.

    I agree. But, sadly, that's not what our laws say.

    I agree with what you're basically saying - the patent process is ridiculous.

    The main reason for a patent seems to be for a larger company to go after a smaller company. Look at these scenerios.

    Large company with patent goes after small company who thought of idea first. Large company gets court order for small company to stop selling their product. Small company has no money now that they can't sell their product, can't hire lawyers, or goes bankrupt paying lawyers. Goes out of business.

    Small company with patent goes after large company. Small company gets court order to stop large company from selling product. Large company fights it in court (by dragging the case out forever with lawyers) until small company goes out of business.

    The little guy can't win in today's world, which is who the patents were supposed to help.

    Large vs. Large is basically the crap going on with Samsung/Apple.
  25. macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Patenting simple flow charts now? I'm getting disgusted with Apple....

    They really want to patent the idea of shutting off resources that aren't needed?

    USPTO has got to crack down on these patent attempts.

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