Let’s face it: Who would not want more battery life out of their PDA? HP has been looking at how to extend battery life by looking at how power is used, rather than coming up with a new power source. The display is one of the components that consumes the most power. So, HP came up with an energy-aware solution that will dim any portion of the screen that is not in use. For example, rather than highlighting the whole screen, just highlight the line that someone is reading. Scroll up or down and the highlight follows.
Another option is to change the default appearance of the screen. The article describes how an MP3 player that only highlights the most frequently used features, like the ‘Play’ button, was able to last three times longer than one that highlights the whole screen.
This is definitely interesting research and I look forward to seeing how it is implemented in future iPAQs.