Technical challenges remain. The data exchanges between smart phones and sensors use up a great deal of the phones’ batteries. During field tests, researchers provided users with two chargers – one for home and one for work – to ensure that their phones were not going to run out of power.
To extend battery life, researchers are experimenting with uploading data from the sensors to the phones every 15 minutes or only when the user wants to retrieve the information. Computer scientists also have developed methods to turn off a phone’s GPS – a huge drain of the devices’ batteries – when the device is immobile.
These innovations to extend battery life were made possible by Krueger’s previous work in service-oriented architecture, which can keep various components – like machine learning, power management and security code – much more separate than in traditional software systems, where functional elements are often so woven into the source code that it is difficult to quickly update any one aspect of the software.
CitiSense is funded by a $ 1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Qualcomm, Inc. donated funds for the cell phones used for the project.
Source: University of California, San Diego.