Microsoft’s Ranveer Chandra has taken the stage at MIT Technology Review’s Digital Summit, taking San Francisco’s breath with what could become one of the most important projects regarding battery life. Our current devices force us to plug in every night, with some more unfortunate users having to charge their smartphones multiple times a day. Microsoft aims to change this, throwing around the idea of 1-week battery life.
Today’s main concern in the matter is that smartphones, tablets and other devices are smart about everything but how they use battery power. Gadgets are simply not very resourceful or efficient when eating away all that juice. This is mostly because smartphones are becoming exponentially more powerful by the day, whereas battery technology is essentially staying the same.
Does this mean we need bigger batteries? Do we simply wait for the next battery technology to come around? No, there are many ways in which hardware and software can be optimized for better battery efficiency. We can take LG’s 3A technology as an example, in which the Korean manufacturer slows down display frame rate and processing power when the device doesn’t need it.
How will Microsoft achieve 1-week battery life?
Likewise, Microsoft has a few tricks up its sleeve, and they have chosen to share a few with us. One of the most interesting experiments is one in which instead of having one large battery, two smaller ones are put in place. One battery would handle more powerful processes (such as gaming), while the other would keep the phone with enough juice to take care of background work when idle, for example. Prototypes have proven to increase battery life by 20%-50%, which is a huge step up.
Most other battery-saving techniques do involve software improvements. One of Microsoft’s projects is called E-Loupe, and it monitors resource-demanding apps, slowing them down when the program deems it appropriate. The team has also developed a tool for developers, helping them predict how demanding their app will be. It also helps them easily reduce it.
Is this really possible?
We are not sure if it’s possible, but we don’t expect to see such battery life in a long time. We have seen LG do wonders with the G3. With all its amazing specs and 5.5-inch QHD display, the device still manages to stump over the competition (according to Phone Arena’s tests).
I have personally experiences 2-day battery life with the LG G2 (with light usage) and must say it’s an amazing experience. It’s also the main reason why I miss the LG G2 so much. One week is a long time, though, especially for such complex devices. I see it very hard to accomplish in the near future.