The energy consumption of devices has long inhibited their use by consumers, and this issue provides a lot of opportunity for startups with a fix.
The capabilities of our technology are evolving constantly, and at the same time, the size of our devices are also shrinking. The trend is for thin, light, fast technology which is able to cope with the huge energy and processing demands of the cloud and similar services.
As a result, battery life has long been an issue for IT and technology manufacturers, which must find ways to manage the high consumption levels of these innovations and provide users with an uninterrupted experience.
Consequently, there is an opening in the market for startups that tackle the problem of battery life, making job opportunities available in IT&T as they try to improve energy supplies for the tech industry.
Low battery life a common tech complaint
Today’s technology is full of amazing abilities, with devices now being capable of doing things that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago. However, battery life has remained a big issue for computing, as solutions are not evolving fast enough to keep up with the requirements of smartphones and laptop computers. Users often find themselves left high and dry as their tech runs out of power midway through the day.
The wildly popular Apple iPhone, for example, has long been a favourite with consumers, but new generations of the product have thus far failed to address the problem of power. In fact, for all its innovative features, it’s battery performance is remarkably low in comparison to other devices.
According to tests done by popular tech reviewing site GSMarena, the iPhone 6s Plus is ranked 32nd for battery life, far below other popular brand’s phones such as Sony, Samsung and Nokia.
Yet smartphone users are constantly looking for ways to improve the energy consumption of their devices, such as by:
- Decreasing screen brightness.
- Closing applications running in the background.
- Putting the device into airplane mode.
Similar methods are used for making laptops and other technology last longer before the next charge. However, many of these techniques compromise the functions of the devices, and plugging them in to charge removes the mobility that is a driving feature for many consumers.
New attempts to improve battery life
Because power consumption remains such a significant problem, those with technology and IT careers are looking for new solutions.
There have been several attempts of varying success to improve the overall duration of batteries. For example, it is rumoured that the forthcoming iPhone 7 is going to have a significantly longer battery life than its predecessors.
It has been reported that the newest iPhone will make use of Electro Magnetic Interference (ETS) shields to the major chips of the device to block electromagnetic signals that may disrupt its functions. This will supposedly improve the phone’s wireless connectivity and app processing, and result in more efficient use of energy overall.
Nevertheless, solutions like this one do not directly approach issues surrounding the batteries themselves, so the IT industry still remains expectant for a more concrete fix to the problem.
Innovations opening gaps in the market for startups
A fertile niche is open in the market for startup companies that bring out new ways to boost battery life.
New research is providing possibilities for these businesses to make use of, with a recent experiments conducted by scientists at the University of California showing that the use of magnetic chips could be the secret to improving the longevity of batteries. The results show that the technology could potentially decrease levels of power consumption to one-millionth of that which is normally used by modern computers.
The research used a laser to explore the energy dissipation resulting from flipping a nonmagnetic bit, depending on temperature.
Jeffrey Bokor, a UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said that they were trying to determine how small they could make the amount of energy that computers require.
“The biggest challenge in designing computers and, in fact, all our electronics today is reducing their energy consumption”, he said.
Minimising the amount of energy that computing needs means that the charge stored in the battery will last a whole lot longer than it has previously. By extension, it is possible that the findings of this research could improve the efficiency of technology as a whole, which is always good news in a world that depends on energy as one of its most essential resources.
Startup companies that explore the possibilities of innovations like this will find themselves tapping into a huge market of consumers who constantly what their tech to be better, more efficient and more long-lasting. Correspondingly, this would create a shift in the focus of Australian IT recruitment, as the sector demands professionals with the abilities to keep up with the changes in the industry.