Proximity-Monitor Energy

Saves power by turning off your computer monitor(s) when no one is in front of it. It works by detecting someone's presence (via a range sensor that measures distance), where it turns the display on/off depending on whether it detects something in front of it at given distances.


Installation and Setup



Equipment needed. To use this software you need to use a Phidgets Interface Kit, a Phidgets IR Distance Adapter, and one of the Sharp distance sensors (we use the GP2Y0A21 sensor). All are available for purchase from Phidgets Inc..

Extra installations needed.

  • Install the Phidgets driver, available as indicated above.
  • Attach a range finder sensor to your Phigets Interface Kit slot 0 (see equipment needed, above), and attach that to your computer via USB.

Sensor configuration. When you run the program, you will have to experiment in terms of where the sensor should be located to get the system tuned to your seating arrangement. Particular sensors have different valid ranges, so you should make sure that the range reflects your presence when seated and absence when you are away. are in that rang when properly seated. This should only take a few moments. As well, objects within its field of view (e.g., a chair) will be detected, so again you have to experiment.

To Do List

  • Put in sliders that will allow a person to calibrate the distance thresholds at run time
  • Put in checks for presence of interface kit, and what to do if there are multiple interface kits present
  • Put state changes on a timer, so that it doesn't flip power save states if there is rapid distance changes in a short interval. Best: Don't turn off unless there is a persistent distant change that lasts for (say) 5 or more seconds. However, always turn back immediately.

Archives of prior versions and change history

  • Version 1.1 source, exe
    • Code and interface cleaned up, minor changes to the way it works. (by Saul Greenberg)
  • Version 1.0 source
    • Initial Working Version (by Miaosen Wang)