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Energy-saving Greencam app is a real turn-off

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August 21, 2012

Ecobeneficios' GreenCam app uses the computer cam to sense when the user walks away and tu...

Ecobeneficios' GreenCam app uses the computer cam to sense when the user walks away and turn off the monitor

Computing guzzles a great deal of electricity and striving for greater energy efficiency both saves money and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Although computers already come with energy-saving mechanisms, such as sleep mode and other power saving features set by users, there's always room for improvement. This is the idea behind Ecobeneficios’s Greencam. The Brazilian company has launched a PC app that automatically turns off the user’s monitor when he or she walks away from it.

Basically what the app does is to turn the computer’s webcam into a presence sensor. When it detects that the user has moved away from the machine, it automatically turns off the screen. This way, if you take too long at the cooler, fret not. Your computer monitor will be taking a break as well.

As the energy demands of the digital age escalate, simple ideas like the GreenCam and more sophisticated power-regulating systems like EnerJ can make a real difference.

If you’re curious about how much power your computer uses, you can download Microsoft’s Joulemeter. This software estimates the power consumption of the computer, tracking the usage of resources such as CPU utilization and screen brightness. For a more accurate reading, hardware solutions like Watt's up? are also available.

GreenCam can be downloaded for free at the Ecobeneficios site. The company's promo video is below.

Source: Ecobeneficios

About the Author
Antonio Pasolini Brazilian-Italian Antonio Pasolini graduated in journalism in Brazil before heading out to London for an MA in film and television studies. He fell in love with the city and spent 13 years there as a film reviewer before settling back in Brazil. Antonio's passion for green issues - and the outdoors - eventually got the best of him and since 2007 he's been writing about alternative energy, sustainability and new technology.   All articles by Antonio Pasolini
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5 Comments

Does it automatically turn the screen back on when you get back?

Pikeman
21st August, 2012 @ 10:59 pm PDT

how much extra power is used by having the camera activated?

It might even out with the power saved by turning off the monitor, but one has to do the whole equation :-)

jaqen
22nd August, 2012 @ 12:07 am PDT

Or you could use the Smartpower app, which automatically shuts the P.C. down or puts it in sleep or hibernate mode depending on current C.P.U. and network usage.

http://ignatu.co.uk/SmartPower.aspx

I'm surprised they haven't been bought out because it is the single most brilliant energy saving innovation i have ever seen.

Sean-Anthony Sutherland
22nd August, 2012 @ 08:02 am PDT

And what use is it if you don't use windows?

ivan4
22nd August, 2012 @ 02:25 pm PDT

My motherboard (Gigaybte brand) has a feature in the bios where it will sense the bluetooth availability of my phone, and if I step out of range it'll downclock the cpu thus saving power. I don't use it because I'm usually pretty good about putting my computer to sleep. The monitor shutting off would be a welcomed feature though.

eskenig
22nd August, 2012 @ 09:32 pm PDT
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