droidconIN 2015

The fifth edition of droidconIN

Android, without batteries

Submitted by Shree Kumar (@shreekumar) on Sep 3, 2015

Section: Beyond handhelds - Full talk (45 minutes) Technical level: Intermediate Status: Rejected


Show & tell of how android phones/tablets can be used without batteries.


Most Android devices ship, batteries included. What if you want to use them without the batteries ? This talk shows you how.

Android is now everywhere. It is now slowly becoming the platform of choice for creating all sorts of devices - medical devices, handheld devices, kiosks, information systems, etc. In the earlier days of embedded systems, Linux was the choice of OS. Now, it is Android.

Off-the-shelf Android devices make excellent prototyping platforms for device-centric applications. Most developers trying to use Android devices in this way end up hitting power related issues due to the puny sized batteries in such systems. This talk shows you how to address some of them.

We will first look at the structure of batteries commonly used in Android devices. This will then be mapped to battery reporting infrastructure in Android. Solutions involving changes in the kernel space & Android service layer will be shown.

This will then be illustrated with an example with a common, off-the shelf phone (most likely a Yu Yureka), running off a bench power supply.

Speaker bio

Shree has been creating custom Android devices for the past 4 years. He leads a small team at Innominds Software, customizing software at various layers : bootloaders, modem, and Android middleware. Shree has hands on experience integrating various peripherals - displays, touch screens, barcode scanners, printers, cameras, sensors and batteries.

He has been a speaker at earlier editions of Droidcon India; he was also on the technical programme committee of Droidcon India 2014.




  • Arnav Gupta (@championswimmer) 4 years ago

    Hey Shree ! Was wondering, would this be more appropriate as a Workshop maybe ? You can extend it then to using bench supply, using wall supply, retrofitting power banks, etc as well
    What are your thoughts ?

    *PS. This time I happen to be helping folks out at HG scheduling the talks and workshops :) *

    • Shree Kumar (@shreekumar) Proposer 4 years ago

      Hi Arnav,

      Making this a workshop is an excellent idea, IMO. I am for it.

      At this point, though, I am having some problems finding the right set of device(s) to do the demos on. The Yureka seems to work without a battery right away! (I was expecting it not to) The other devices that I have access to (Nexus, Moto G, etc) all have internal batteries.

      Unless I can find the right device to demo this on, I may even have to drop this.

      – Shree

      • Arnav Gupta (@championswimmer) 4 years ago

        We can do it with the Yureka. (By India, For India developer devices from YU :D)
        The Nexus 5 battery can be removed though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSGNUrpwIno I have done it myself and is not a cumbersome procedure, exxcept getting the back off with a spatula.

        Also, would love to see you include some precautions that can be added on kernel/userspace to monitor V/I levels and cutoff power or shutdown when there are fluctuations. (Even if it’s theoretical in nature.)

        • Shree Kumar (@shreekumar) Proposer 4 years ago

          Totally missed this comment ! Will check the Nexus 5 video.

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