A research team at Microsoft has revealed an idea that it thinks will help greatly extend the battery life of Windows laptops and tablets, which it hopes to see put inside consumer projects at some point in the future.
At the moment, batteries inside notebooks have a hardware-based approach for maintaining its charge. The new Microsoft research project, called Software Defined Batteries, has a different technique:
"It combines several different kinds of batteries, all of which are optimized for different tasks, into the same computer. Then, it works with the operating system to figure out whether the user is, say, looking at Word documents or editing video footage, and applies the most efficient battery for that task."
"The system also uses a technique called machine learning to learn from a user's individual habits, so it can figure out how to extend battery life based on how that person is using the device."
The team behind the research project have built working prototypes of their battery concept and plan to officially present their ideas at next week's ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles.