A Duke University student named Justin Manweiler has created a way to extend the battery life of mobile devices by making changes to WiFi technology. He calls it “SleepWell.”The more wireless devices there are in a space, the higher the drain is on each one’s battery as they access the internet. Downloading a movie in a city uses more battery than downloading a movie in a rural area over a public WiFi network.
Manweiler’s system embraces this — when your WiFi-enabled device is in standby and it detects other WiFi devices that are actively using the network, it puts its connection to sleep. This saves battery life both for your own device and for the one using the connection.
As WiFi becomes more and more prevalent in public venues, we’re excited that we might not have to be bringing spare batteries and chargers everywhere.