PecoBOO: Now Your Computer Sees When You're Gone

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Image via VeryPC

Tweaking your computer's energy-saving settings is a no-brainer. But that's just the trouble: the computer is making a "dumb" decision to dim the monitor or go to sleep after a preset time. VeryPC, the British maker of energy-efficient computers and servers, is trying to smarten up the system by giving computers the ability to know when you're not there, saving more energy, and cutting your carbon footprint.

The program, called PecoBOO, uses a computer's webcam along with open-source facial recognition software. When PecoBOO detects a face in front of the screen, all systems remain the same. But step away, and it will dim, hibernate, or sleep, depending on your settings. PecoBOO is currently available for Windows Vista and XP.

The young founder of VeryPC, Peter Hopton, is quoted in PC Pro saying: "We realized that our monitors, even the new LCD ones, were using a lot more power than our computers." Current power management software, he says, is often disabled after the first time it becomes a nuisance, like dimming the screen while watching a video. PecoBOO, he hopes, will solve this. Via New Scientist.

(If you want to see VeryPC founder Peter Hopton get thrashed by venture capitalists on the British reality show Dragons' Den, be my guest. But don't say we didn't warn you.)