Scientists have developed a way to dramatically lengthen the battery life of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. They have done this by reducing how much power mobile apps consume by as much as 60%.
Two computer scientists from Aston University wrote about their work in Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies Journal (citation below).
They have created a solution that integrates cloud computing with mobile computing. They also developed tools that identify the most power-hungry parts of a mobile app. The tools then move them to the cloud. They move them to the cloud using a technique they refer to as ‘code-offloading.’
Cloud computing refers to a type of computing in which we can store files and other data in remote computers, and perform computation on them. We call these remote computers ‘the cloud.’
Co-author Aamir Akbar developed a mobile-cloud hybrid application framework specifically for Android. It hybridizes mobile apps, executing them across both cloud and mobile platforms.
Akbar is a doctoral researcher (PhD candidate) at Aston University. He is a member of ALICE. ALICE stands for Aston Lab for Intelligent Collectives Engineering.
Extending battery life – experimenting with apps
“So far, we have carried out experiments on two diﬀerent Android apps. ImageEffects is a prototype and Instagram like app we created and Mather is an open source app available on Github.”
“On one, our results showed that battery consumption could be reduced by over 60%, at an additional cost of just over 1 MB of network usage. On the second app, the app used 35% less power, at a cost of less than 4 KB additional data.”
Mobile cloud computing is not a new concept. Google Maps, for example, accesses cloud services when providing images and map data.
The computer scientists at Aston, however, are the first to develop a flexible and general-purpose solution to offloading the power hungry parts of an app to the cloud. By doing this, they have managed to extend the device’s battery life.
Co-author, Dr. Peter Lewis, a Lecturer in Computer Science at Aston University and also an ALICE member, said:
“By instrumenting mobile apps and using optimization algorithms to search for eﬃcient app conﬁgurations, the tools identify the most power-hungry parts of a mobile app and move them to the cloud. And since our framework is general-purpose, it can be applied to any mobile app.”
Extending robot battery life
The computer scientists are now working on how to apply this technique to robots to extend their battery life. Search and rescue robots, for example, use batteries.
“The importance of granularity in multiobjective optimization of mobile cloud hybrid applications,” Aamir Akbar Peter R. Lewis. Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies Journal 2018; e3526. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ett.3526.