A Moment of Science

Charge! (Into New Cell Phone Technology)

Computer scientists say that cell phone batteries are going to need a major recharge.

charging_cell

Photo: DuEn.1 (flickr)

The faster your signal is for cell phone internet surfing, the more power is getting drained out of the phone's battery.

It makes sense that cell phones, which are becoming more and more advanced everyday, are going to need battery life that can keep up with the pace.

NAPman, Network-Assisted Power Management, is one idea that’s helping cell phones work more efficiently, saving tons of battery life. It involves simple software upgrades to the Wi-Fi access point (AP), without making changes to individual cell phones!

When you are in an wireless hot spot, there are often many people working from the same source, which means you are essentially “waiting in line” for the server to process your request. The problem is that many smartphones are constantly going to “sleep” to save battery. When this happens, you are bumped to the end of the “line.” That means that your phone then has to re-power and wait even longer, which actually wastes a lot of battery life.

NAPman is an algorithm that controls fair scheduling and limits energy consumption by the Wi-Fi clients. The prototype was shown to improve energy savings in a smart-phone by 70%!

Hopefully new technology will mean more less time spent sitting on the charger and less frustration when browsing the web!

Read More:

  • New Ways to Double Phone Battery Life (CNNTech)
  • NAPman: Network Assisted Power Management for WiFi Devices (MicrosoftResearch)

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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