Adobe aims to cut power consumption with Flash 10.2

Aiming to make Flash more nimble and less power-consuming, Adobe on Wednesday introduced Stage Video as part of an overall larger update to the multimedia platform. The technology takes advantage of hardware acceleration which in turn uses less processing power and thus less battery power.

With an increasing amount of Flash content being played back on mobile devices, it has become necessary for Adobe to deal with the power-intensive playback of content. The company said 1080p video playback was now possible with only 1-15% CPU usage, up to 34 times more efficient than earlier versions.

Power consumption has increasingly become a thorn in Flash's side: in fact, Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the issue as a reason why Apple's iOS would not support the technology.

"To achieve long battery life when playing video, mobile devices must decode the video in hardware; decoding it in software uses too much power," he opined in an open letter published to Apple's website in April of last year.

The benefits of Stage Video will not be apparent immediately however. Content providers would first need to update their own players, typically as simple as changing the SWF file on the server side. Nothing would need to be altered as far as the videos themselves, Adobe said.

Vimeo, Brightcove, Epix, and YouTube have already begun to enable Stage Video functionality. Vimeo called the decision to switch a "no-brainer" in a statement published by Adobe, as a majority of its users view videos in HD-quality.

In addition to the video playback enhancements, Adobe enabled "one-click" full screen video, and the ability for video providers to create custom cursors for interactivity within their Flash applications. Adobe has also made text rendering changes, which would enhance readability of text, and GPU rendering technologies to come in the next version of Internet Explorer.

Flash Player 10.2 can be downloaded from Fileforum.

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