Proposed new WiFi tech could double battery life in phones

We all know that using your WiFi features on your smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs can sap the battery power from those devices much faster than normal. Now a proposed new way of handling WiFi technology has the potential to extend the battery life of those devices, perhaps by twice the current amount. TechCrunch reports that the proposal comes from a computer science graduate student at Duke University.

The student, Justin Manwelier, has called the technology SleepWell and for good reason. A WiFi enabled product usually has to stay on while waiting for its turn to download a file. That means that battery life is adversely affected. Manwelier uses an analogy to describe the current  WiFi process. Currently workers head into and out of big cities during "rush hours" which naturally causes heavier traffic during those time periods. If companies staggered their work hours for their employees there would be less traffic and thus more free time. Manwelier states that his technology works in the same way, saying, "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 adds that, " .... the testing we conducted across a number of device types and situations gives us confidence that SleepWell is a viable approach for the near future." While this new technology  certainly sounds promising, there's no word on when or even if the SleepWell technology will be used in future WiFi devices.

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