Smart TVs Know When You Look Away [TechDirt]
Smart mobile phones have sensors to detect when a user is making or receiving a call, dimming the screen to save battery life during the call. Now, television manufacturers may begin integrating a similar feature into high-energy television screens to reduce their electricity usage.
I've written here about television manufacturers that are experimenting with remote control systems that recognize hand gestures. Using similar sensing technology, TV makers at the Japanese technology expo CEATEC have exhibited a futuristic television screen that can tell when a viewer has turned their head away from the screen. That motion is detected by the television via facial recognition cameras, which dims the television screen. The television automatically reduces its energy usage based on the fact that the viewer is no longer actively watching. When the cameras "see" the viewer turn back toward the screen, the brightness is automatically turned back up.
Size is the largest factor in a television's energy usage, and this technology could significantly reduce the energy usage of large screen televisions. It's a neat idea, if viewers can get over the idea that while they're watching their television, it is watching them back.