The US Patent & Trademark Office has published a patent application from Sony that reveals a unique power savings television system that will dim the brightness of the display when a user isn't viewing the television or is out the room.
Overview of Sony's Power Saving TV System
According to a survey published by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association, the Japanese view 4.5 hours of TV per day. It's a stat which is likely mirrored here in North America. While that's an interesting factoid, Sony tends to think that a lot of that time really isn't being spent on watching TV anymore. Sony's position is that while the TV may be physically on, it's likely on in the background while consumers are in reading or working on their tablet or notebook computers. When something interesting is heard on the TV the user may look up to catch a particular scene of a TV show, movie or news item and then return to whatever they were doing afterwards.
With that scenario in mind, Sony has invented a unique system that will partially dim or shut off the television backlight and lower the sound depending if someone is in the room or not. Sony envisions future televisions being equipped with a three camera system as is noted in our cover graphic, along with a presence sensor.
Sony's system is designed to capture the facial feature movements of the user such as their eyelashes, nose and mouth so as to determine whether to keep the TV image on or not. One of Sony's patent figures (not shown) shows us a power savings of up to 40% with this feature, though Sony doesn't commit to this number in the details of their document.
At the end of the day Sony's invention shows us that they're on top of current trends in television. It may not apply to everyone or at all time. But I have to admit that half of the time I'm doing just that: reading and popping my head up to catch something that has caught my ear and then going back to what I was doing once I'm finished glancing.
While it's not a game changing feature for televisions, it's certainly a new one that will have some consumers boasting that they have the latest power saving feature. Okay, I get it; it's the "Green" thing to do. But it's not for everyone. It'll be a good feature for singles, students, workaholic couples and seniors who tend to nod off while watching TV.
Sony's patent application was originally filed in Q3 2010 and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office in Q3 2012.
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