With its new iPhone operating system iOS 16, Apple has also announced a new feature that was not discussed in detail in the official presentation: “Clean Energy Charging” which is intended to make the power supply of the devices cleaner. The new function does not bring any direct advantages to the individual user, which is probably the reason why it was not presented in more detail.
For the usual “Look how environmentally friendly our products are” marketing, the topic would have given something. Because the approach and the technology behind the feature are quite exciting. According to Apple, clean energy charging will represent a new form of energy management.
The charging processes of the devices should therefore be optimized in such a way that times are used when there is a particularly large amount of electricity from regenerative sources in the grids. This should reduce the CO2 footprint of the devices and, especially considering the large installed base of Apple smartphones, there should definitely be noticeable effects.
Exactly how Clean Energy Charging works has not yet been publicly explained. However, it is very likely that an AI algorithm will match the usage behavior of the user with the situation in the power grids. In this way, the Siri AI recognizes the user’s recurring behavior patterns: if you regularly go to bed at around the same time, you will be asked directly whether you want the alarm clock to be activated as it is every day. And if the iPhone regularly connects to the car radio in the afternoon, the map app will inform you without further prompting whether the route to a frequently driven destination is clear.
Only USA for now
Energy management can also be controlled accordingly. If the user usually drives to the office in the morning and connects the smartphone to a power cable there, the Clean Energy Charging function should ensure that the majority of the charging process takes place there – after all, solar power is available in the grids in the morning.
At night, however, the battery would only be charged to a minimum. The new function is not yet available in the now available iOS 16 but will follow shortly with another smaller update. Initially, the feature will only work in the USA, since Apple is already getting enough information from the energy suppliers there. However, one can already foresee that at one of the events of the coming year it will be announced how much electricity from fossil sources Apple was able to save in this way.
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