Fortunately for us, Duke graduate student Justin Manweiler has come up with a technology that has the potential to minimize WiFi battery drain and double your device's battery life.
The technology, dubbed SleepWell by the creator, operates on a fairly simple principle.
When WiFi devices need access to the information on the internet, it requests it over the network. If other devices have requested the info before it, the first device must keep its connection open while waiting in line. As you can imagine, this waiting drains a lot of battery but gets you nothing.
The SleepWell software takes care of this problem by allowing devices to "sleep" while waiting for their turn to access the information. As explained by the creator of the software, "SleepWell-enabled WiFi access points can stagger their activity cycles to minimally overlap with others, ultimately resulting in promising energy gains with negligible loss of performance."
According to Manweiler and his associates, the system has been tested on many devices and found to nearly double battery life. Still, we do not know if it will catch on or even work in the real world, but I am certainly hoping to see the technology begin to spread.[Physorg]