09/01/12 1:34 am
A pseudo-proximety sensor experiment for OS X
I have started a new, little side project on my github page. It's called ProxSentry.
ProxSentry uses your Mac's built-in camera and OS X's built in facial detection technology to determine when you're paying attention to your computer.
Using this information, ProxSentry can do smart things, like:
- Dim the screen when you stop looking at it
- Stop your Mac from going to sleep while you're reading a long article
- Start your screensaver when you leave, and stop it when you get back
- Lock your screen when you stop using your computer
During a discussion of sleep and power management on episode 82 of the podcast Hypercritical, John Siracusa envisioned that Apple might one day add a proximity sensor to the Mac, so that things like sleeping and waking one's computer could be managed more precisely as the user came and went.
This got my mind spinning: between the built-in camera and the facial detection libraries that have shipped with OS X since Lion, it seemed possible that the Mac might already have a pretty good approximation of a proximity sensor built in. The idea intrigued me, and I was temporarily burned out on the project I was working on anyway, so I decided to sit down for a night or two and see what could be cobbled together.
The result is ProxSentry.
If you're interested, head on over to my github page and check it out.