Research to help mobile phones act smarter and last longer

February 26, 2019 by Holly Bennett, University of Melbourne
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Melbourne researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to predict when users will reach for their mobile phone, helping people to maximise phone battery life.

Experts in the University of Melbourne's School of Computing and Information Systems have trained the system to make personalised predictions based on which applications people use and when they access them.

University of Melbourne Professor of Human Computer Interaction Vassilis Kostakos said smartphones are designed to frequently fetch online data to keep users up-to-date, but this consumes a large amount of battery power.

"Smartphones are actually not very smart when it comes to system updates and battery conservation," Professor Kostakos said.

"A typical system takes tens of minutes, prevents people from using their phone in the meantime, and can't be paused once it commences.

"Knowing when users are most likely to use their phone can help smartphone apps and operating systems determine when to automatically update itself, without using large amounts of battery power or interrupting ."

Instead of relying on power-hungry sensors, the AI system employs software-generated information to make personalised predictions about phone usage, factoring in how much time has elapsed since a user last accessed their phone, how long they used it for last time previously, and at what time of day.

"We tested the system with regular phone users and, in 93 per cent of cases, it accurately predicted whether users would unlock their phone in the next five minutes," Professor Kostakos said.

"Based on our system, in non-usage periods, such as when someone sleeps at night, smartphones could schedule computation-intensive tasks such as app and OS updates, or any other activity that can affect user experience, such as downloading new podcast episodes or game updates.

"And rather than checking for updates every five minutes, your phone could just check once – before you use it. The end result could be increased time between needing to charge your phone, and a better user experience with the system operating at optimal speed."

This research is published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.

Explore further: App that will extend your smartphone battery life

More information: Chu Luo et al. Energy-efficient prediction of smartphone unlocking, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s00779-018-01190-0

Related Stories

Could HYCCUPS boost phone battery life?

July 23, 2013

A new system that goes by the name of "hybrid contextual cloud in ubiquitous platforms comprising of smart phones" or HYCCUPS for short, has been developed by Romanian computer scientists. The system discussed in a forthcoming ...

New tool reduces smartphone battery drain from faulty apps

September 10, 2015

The first large-scale study of smartphones in everyday use by consumers has revealed that apps drain 28.9 percent of battery power while the screen is off. To address the problem, researchers have created a software tool ...

What your choice of smartphone says about you

November 22, 2016

Android users are more honest than iPhone users say psychologists, in a study published this week which is the first to find a link between personality and smartphone type.

'No-sleep energy bugs' drain smartphone batteries

June 13, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Researchers have proposed a method to automatically detect a new class of software glitches in smartphones called "no-sleep energy bugs," which can entirely drain batteries while the phones are not in use.

Recommended for you

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.