Patent suggests we might see lower-power Wi-Fi tethering on Windows 10

messaging everywhere will not be part of windows 10 anniversary edition update interface mobile
If you aren’t conservative with your mobile data, tethering your phone for use as a Wi-Fi hotspot is an increasingly appetizing feature — especially if you wield multiple devices without their own carrier plan. Ask anyone, however, and the most notable flaw with Wi-Fi tethering is how much it burns up your cell phone battery.

It appears, however, as though Microsoft may have a solution.

Windows-10-Mobile-Hotspot-Data-Tether-Smartphone-to-Your-Laptop-Battery-Life-Terrible-Tether-4G-Data-to-Laptop-Windows-10-Annive-510636
Microsoft / US Patent Office
Microsoft / US Patent Office

Originally discovered by British news source Express, Microsoft’s “Power Saving Wi-Fi Tethering” patent details a dynamic software technology for Windows Mobile 10 that intelligently determines how frequently you’ll need an Internet connection based on usage. After realizing that a connection isn’t needed, the software will suspend tethering until a connection is once again required, to which your phone will respond by seamlessly resuming its duty.

By taking breaks between tasks, the amount of power required to maintain tethering functionality is cut down drastically, protecting your phone’s battery from a swift death.

As a patent, of course, you can’t exactly expect Microsoft’s Power Saving Wi-Fi Tethering to make it far beyond the ideas stage, but it does sound familiar, as there are a number of similar concepts in the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary update aiming to hand off data from phones to PCs and vice versa.

Unfortunately, this one would be a lot more limited. Reception of Android notifications and texts on a Windows 10 PC, for example, would only really demand some OS tweaking on the PC side of things. Making changes to Wi-Fi tethering, on the other hand, could call for some significant adjustments to both Windows 10 and its mobile counterpart.

Whatever the case may be, it’s impossible to say when, or if, we’ll know more about this for sure. After all, it is just a patent.

Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Mobile

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.
Computing

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.
Computing

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?
Computing

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.
Computing

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.