Apple has applied for a patent detailing “Power Management for Electronic Devices,” a new system that will see mobile electronic devices (like new iPhones) learning from their surroundings and altering their running programs to conserve battery life based on how long it’s been since the device has been charged.
The patent application details the system’s ability to learn based on typical charging locations. As the device learns the GPS locations of common charging stations (home or work, for instance), it will then modify its “power management scheme,” decreasing screen brightness, turning off unused applications, etc. in response to its distance from those locations.
The application reads: “Using a GPS sensor the mobile electronic device may determine, based on its current location, that it may be at least eight hours before the mobile electronic device will be recharged or otherwise connected to an external power source. In this case, the mobile electronic device may modify the power management scheme by adjusting one or more characteristics or settings.”
The power management system will adjust dynamically based on the device’s current usage. Users would also have the power to override these settings or implement static management schemes based on their preferences.
As spotted by VentureBeat, the system would also account for charging in unknown locations, like airports, train or bus stations. In these locations, the device would “know” that time for a full charge likely won’t be available, and would thus charge the device at “a maximum rate.”
Apple hasn’t released plans to actually implement this new technology, but given the company’s focus on increasing battery life in the past, it definitely wouldn’t be surprising.