Science Daily: University of Michigan professor Kang Shin and doctoral student Xinyu Zhang have developed a new approach to power management for WiFi devices that could extend battery life by as much as 54 percent. Their Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening (E-MiLi) technique puts smartphones and other mobile devices into "subconscious mode" when they are not actively sending or receiving information. In this mode, the phone slows down so that it consumes less power.
The hard part of the technique was getting the phone to speed up again when messages were coming in. "We came up with a clever idea," Shin said. "Usually, messages come with a header, and we thought the phone could be enabled to detect this, as you can recognize that someone is calling your name even if you're 90 percent asleep."