Battery life on smartphones are an issue. Compared the battery life on smartphones these days with feature phones like the Nokia 3310, where it could last you just about forever. With smartphones, turn on 3G/4G/WiFi, surf the net for a while and suddenly you find yourself with 10% less battery. Granted it’s a fair trade off, but what if there was a way to potentially increase your battery life? Researchers at the University of Michigan may have found a way, at least as far as WiFi is concerned.

According to the researchers, even when your handset is in power-saving or idle mode, and basically not doing anything, they are on alert for incoming information while searching for a clear communication channel, both of which uses up battery.

Through a new power-saving approach they’re calling Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening (E-MiLi), the researchers are claiming to be able to extend battery life up to 54%, even with WiFi radios enabled. Basically what E-MiLi does is that it scales back your device’s WiFi clock to just 1/16th of its normal operating speed, bringing it back up to full speed when it senses incoming data.

This would require new software and firmware, with the firmware already created by the researchers. Now it’s just up to WiFi chipset manufacturers to adopt the firmware modifications, and then it’s up to smartphone manufacturers to incorporate the new chipsets into their devices. Sounds like a lengthy process, but we would definitely welcome longer battery life on our smartphones, even if it’s just limited to WiFi for now.

Filed in Cellphones >Concepts. Read more about Battery, Research, Smartphones and WiFi.

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