How much energy do you think is wasted every day powering devices that aren’t actually being used? I’m not talking about stand-by power consumption, but actually on-and-in-use without a user there. I know a lot of people who turn their TVs on just as “background noise”, without ever actually looking at the screen. Hitachi’s cooking up a system to place TVs in power consumption mode if it detects that the viewer isn’t actually viewing the screen.
Basically, eye tracking is performed using a small camera atop the TV. When it’s detected that the user is looking away — either because they’ve fallen asleep, or because they’re watching the cat play with a sock from the laundry room, or whatever — the TV will enter power saving mode. Why bother displaying anything if there’s no one there to see it?
Also, the woman demonstrating this system had, by far, the easiest job out of anyone at CEATEC.