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The Potential for Energy-aware User Interfaces on Handheld Devices

Harter, Timothy; Vroegindeweij, Sander; Geelhoed, Erik; Manahan, Meera; Ranganathan, Partha

HPL-2003-244

Keyword(s): energy-aware user interfaces; energy saving displays; OLED; power management; battery life

Abstract: The utility of a handheld device is often constrained by the battery life, particularly with recent usage patterns where the device is likely to be powered on at all times. The display component in these devices is a major consumer of battery energy and reducing its energy consumption can significantly enhance its utility. This primary research explores the impact of emerging technologies that provide energy-saving display modifications on perceived ease of use, quality, and overall user acceptance, and seeks to understand the tradeoffs between energy reduction and user acceptance for future interfaces. For our study, twelve handheld users reviewed energy-adaptive and standard display interfaces during five scenarios representing frequently performed tasks. The results show good acceptance of energy-aware user interfaces. While displays for tasks involving notifications and menus were deemed acceptable, primarily due to enhanced contrast levels, displays for longer tasks involving greater informational context need additional work.

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