Consumer demand for the latest technologies along with carrier replacement programs cause smartphones to be discarded three times faster than other consumer devices such as laptop and desktop computers. These short lifetimes produce large amounts of electronic waste, which is difficult to dispose of safely.
This semester we will attempt to address this sustainability challenge by addressing energy consumption, frequently cited by users as a top performance problem with current smartphones. Redesign, reduce, and reuse will be our mantram: redesigning smartphone hardware for improved energy consumption, reducing energy usage during active use, and finding novel ways to reuse phones after they are discarded, potentially as cheap, easily-deployed environmental sensors.
Throughout the semester we will read research papers about smartphone energy management and power-aware design. Students will lead discussion and work in teams to initiate research projects organized around our sustainability theme.