VeryPC turns to facial detection for energy savings

VeryPC is touting new facial recognition software that will detect when you’re away from your computer and switch off the monitor.

VeryPC turns to facial detection for energy savings

Dubbed PecoBOO, the software uses a webcam to snap a picture every second. If it detects a face within the frame then no action is taken, but if it doesn’t find anything for 15 secs it automatically kicks the monitor into sleep mode, waking it again when the person returns. Though this can be set by the user depending on preference.

It can also be set to lock the computer and take a range of other actions depending on the user’s preference.

“We realised that our monitors, even the new LCD ones, were using a lot more power than our computers,” says VeryPC boss Peter Hopton.

“Current power management software doesn’t work very well because it interferes with people’s lives – they’re watching the iPlayer and the monitor sleeps after fifteen minutes so they turn off the power management stuff. This is much simpler.”

Hopton claims the software is effective up to 15ft away from the monitor, will have no impact on a computer’s performance and will work with a range of webcams, though it’s currently only available for Vista and XP.

He also claims that’s it’s almost 100% accurate: “The only problem we’ve had is that somebody had a poster behind them, and the software detected the face in the poster and wouldn’t switch off. Other than that we’ve not see a face it couldn’t detect.”

The software will be shipped with all future VeryPC machines, and will also be available to buy with a webcam for £25.

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