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

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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.

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.
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'
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
Present what options to the user? Do you want this app to run properly or run poorly and preserve battery?
 
Comment

pancakedrawer

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2010
190
6
Melbourne
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.
 
Comment

lazard

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,608
818
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.
 
Comment

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,423
2,689
Buffalo, NY
This isn't really a new idea...

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.
 
Comment

Chub

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2013
80
0
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.
 
Comment

Zodiac.mj

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2013
85
10
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
 
Comment

Rootus

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2008
376
24
Portland, OR
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.
 
Comment

lazard

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,608
818
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.

A different implementation, but hardly a new idea.
 
Comment

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,252
27,952
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.

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.
 
Comment

Aidyn's X

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2010
186
42
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

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).
 
Comment

ElTorro

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2013
273
2
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.

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**
 
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zeeklancer

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2008
133
0
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.
 
Comment

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,415
80
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.
 
Comment

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,423
2,689
Buffalo, NY
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.[/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.

Get used to it, Apple only leads in sales at this point. Features & technology are pioneered by other people.

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.
 
Comment

forrestsun3

macrumors newbie
Jul 25, 2013
6
0
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.
 
Comment

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,423
2,689
Buffalo, NY
No, No, No, NO.

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

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.



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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.
 
Comment

Letsjet

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2009
47
0
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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