Google Optimizes Screen Power by Reducing Image Sizes

According to a patent the company applied for in 2009 and received confirmation on August 7, 2012, Google suggests to reduce the application UI size to enable power savings in OLED displays as fewer active pixels would consume power.

"OLED displays do not require a backlight to function and thus consume far less power than LCDs," the patent reads. "However, continual improvements in power efficiency remains desirable, especially as portable computing devices become smaller." The idea is to continuously reduce the size of the continuously UI as a user does not interact with a device. From the patent:

"For example, when the software application reduces the size of the screen 200, the screen size may be reduced from 720.times.400 to 640.times.350 after 10 seconds. After another 10 seconds, the screen size may be reduced from 640.times.350 to 320.times.200, etc. FIG. 2B illustrates an example OLED display showing the screen 200 of FIG. 2A with a reduced size. Because of the reduced screen size, fewer OLEDs are required to be on in order to generate the image of the screen 200 and its contents. As such, in one embodiment, the software application may then disable or turn off the OLEDs and/or rows of OLEDs that are not contributing to the generation of the screen 200 and its contents. This results in substantial power savings."

Given the timeframe of the invention and the patent filing, it is rather doubtful if Google has still interest in this idea.


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  • Anonymous
    thats stupid, I dont see any benefit of this as opposed to just turning of the UI completely untill the user starts an interaction again as that should sure save more power.
  • lamorpa
    TomfreakWhy dont just make the screen more power efficient or make battery more efficient.

    Wow. You should suggest this to Google. I know they've got a lot of engineers on their staff, but I guess none of them ever though of this...
  • Other Comments
  • killabanks
    sounds silly
  • aznshinobi
    As long as it saves power, I'm a happy man. Love to get more battery life out of my phone. More research in power saving mobile radios would be nice too. But the screen is one of the more power consuming things on the any smart phone.
  • adbat
    Sounds great - I was waiting for somebody to implement something like this. I thought about this for LED LCD's deviding them in half or 1/4 could bring you a lot of power savings when all you need is phone UI are other simple information (messages, status etc..). For OLEDS you just need a black background.