A Duke University student, under the direction of an Indian assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has found a new system to double the battery life of mobile devices.
According to Justin Manweiler, the system named SleepWell enables smart phones and laptop computers to work for longer hours by making changes to the WiFi technology.
He explained that the energy drain in these gadgets is severe in the presence of other WiFi devices in the neighborhood.
In such cases, each device has to 'stay awake' before it gets its turn to download a small piece of the desired information.
For instance, the battery drainage in downloading a movie in Manhattan is far higher than downloading the same movie in a farmhouse in the Midwest, the researchers said.
However, the Duke-developed software eliminates this problem by allowing mobile devices to sleep while a neighboring device is downloading information.
This not only saves energy for the sleeping device, but also for competing devices as well.
"Big cities face heavy rush hours as workers come and leave their jobs at similar times. If work schedules were more flexible, different companies could stagger their office hours to reduce the rush. With less of a rush, there would be more free time for all, and yet, the total number of working hours would remain the same," said Manweiler.
"The same is true of mobile devices trying to access the Internet at the same time. The SleepWell-enabled WiFi access points can stagger their activity cycles to minimally overlap with others, ultimately resulting in promising energy gains with negligible loss of performance," he added.
The SleepWell system was presented at the ninth Association for Computing Machinery's International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys), being held in Washington, D.C.