Using WearDrive, Microsoft researchers tripled wearable battery life

Batteries are a big issue in today’s tech-focused world, and although major breakthroughs are constantly lauded as being imminent, they’ve failed to materialize so far. Luckily, researchers at Microsoft, have found a way to drastically improve the battery life of our wearables.

WearDrive is a research project at Microsoft that uses RAM, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to offload important tasks from a wearable to a smartphone. These aren’t just intensive computing jobs, but even things like writing to permanent storage and fetching data.

By using this WearDrive technology in conjunction with an Android wearable and smartphone, the research team was able to achieve impressive results. The wearable’s battery life was more than tripled, while performance itself – most computing being handled by the phone - improved dramatically; nearly 9x. Meanwhile, the phone's battery life was barely impacted.

The really important part about WearDrive is that it’s designed to work with a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep the phone with you at all times. The system is smart enough to know when your wearable device is in range of your smartphone, or whether it’s running in solo mode for a while.

Unfortunately, it looks like WearDrive is currently only a research project. The Microsoft Band team publicly said they weren’t using this technology in any upcoming product, at least not yet. While that pretty much dashes hopes for dramatic improvements in Band 2, it does give us a bit of hope for Band 3 and beyond

Source: Microsoft Research

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