Researchers from the University of California-San Diego and the Microsoft Corp. developed the plug-and-play hardware prototype for personal computers that induces a new energy saving state known as "sleep talking."
The USB-connected hardware and software plug-in system allows a PC to remain in sleep mode while continuing to maintain network presence and run well-defined application functions. It supports instant messaging, VoIP, large background web downloads, peer-to-peer file sharing networks and remote access.
The computer scientists named their system Somniloquy, which means "the act or habit of talking in one's sleep."
The goal of Somniloquy is to encourage people to put their PCs in sleep mode more often, for example when they are not being used for computationally demanding tasks.
"Reducing energy consumed by wall-powered devices, especially computing equipment, offers a huge opportunity to save money and reduce greenhouse gasses," said doctoral student Yuvraj Agarwal.
Agarwal presented the work last week in Boston during the Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation.
A paper detailing the system is available at http://mesl.ucsd.edu/yuvraj/research/documents/Somniloquy-NSDI09-Yuvraj-Agarwal.pdf/.