Software boosts smartphones to 4K without tapping out battery

by Ahmed Kaludi November 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Ultra HD 4K videos can be a sight to behold, but they come at two costs: price and power. While 4K screens will inevitably drop in price over time, Japan’s Kogakuin University and Fujitsu are working to reduce the power consumed while playing 4K videos’.

 

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The university and electronics maker have worked together to develop software that can scale up video playback on smartphones to a resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels, commonly referred to as 4K. The new technology can display Ultra HD at a highly stable 30 frames per second (fps) without increasing the typical power consumption of a smartphone. Kogakuin University has also confirmed that it is possible to increase video frame rate to a more fluid 60 fps.

At the moment, Sony’s Xperia z5 Premium is the only handset on the market that sports a 4K screen, though this is sure to change as Ultra HD screens become less costly. However, displaying content in the cutting edge resolution is extremely draining to the battery, so the Z5 Premium is designed to only output in 4K during media playback, and not during other uses. The new software could circumvent one of the considerable negatives to Ultra HD viewing, even if there are still doubts as to the benefit of 4K screens on smartphones.

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