Smart WelcomEyes Technology

Fuji Xerox normally configures its multifunction devices (MFDs) to enter sleep mode just one minute after being used. Although this factory-default setting is provided to ensure optimum energy-saving performance, we found that many of our customers are actually extending the time setting because they find it a burden having to press the Energy Saver button to cancel sleep mode or stressful in having to wait for the machine to recover from sleep mode.Note 1

To realize a "zero waiting time experience" in the procedure from sleep mode recovery to job execution and allow customers to use an MFD with the factory-default setting, we developed an automatic sensing technology called "Smart WelcomEyes" in addition to Smart Energy Management Technology and High-speed Recovery from Sleep.Note 2 Smart WelcomEyes technology enables the MFD to automatically recover from sleep mode by detecting a person approaching the machine for use. This technology uses a pyroelectric sensor and a reflection sensor. The pyroelectric sensor detects the movement of people in a large area while consuming only a small amount of energy. Conversely, while the reflection sensor can detect human movement with high accuracy, it has a limited detectable area and consumes more energy than the pyroelectric sensor. This unique configuration reduces energy consumption of the MFD without adversely affecting user convenience.

In a general office environment, the distance between the front surface of an MFD and such office furniture as desks or room partitions is approximately from 800 to 1,000 mm. We designed the detection area of the pyroelectric sensor according to this range of distance. The pyroelectric sensor is installed in an aperture at the bottom of the pillar cover on the front of the MFD, resulting in the limited fan-shaped detection area shown in Fig. 1.

After pressing the energy-saver button, the user can recognize that the machine has recovered from sleep mode in about 500 msec. We considered this time as that necessary from when the reflection sensor detects an approaching user to when the user reaches the operating position in front of the machine, and accordingly adjusted the reflection sensor's detection distance. Because the reflection sensor has high directivity and a limited detection area, its installation position and angle must be carefully adjusted to ensure the accurate detection of users. We defined the position where the user's entire body is within the main body width of the machine as the home position. This home position is determined so as not to include users who are only using the finishing units or such peripherals as IC card readers connected to the machine. The reflection sensor is installed on the pillar cover surface and tilted toward the machine surface to ensure detection of a user at the home position. We intentionally left the area where printed copies are output as a non-detection area, so that users can pick up printed documents without having to wake up the machine (and with the reflection sensor remaining turned off).

Fig. 1: Position and Detection Area of the Sensors

Fig. 2: Access from Various Angles and Detection Area of the Pyroelectric Sensor

Fig. 3: Detection Distance of the Reflection Sensor

Fig. 4 shows how the two sensors detect user movement.

Only the pyroelectric sensor that consumes little power remains active when the machine is not being used, in order to maintain overall low energy consumption. When the pyroelectric sensor detects the movement of a person near the machine, the reflection sensor is activated. The machine will recover from sleep mode only when the reflection sensor detects an approaching person and determines that person to be a user. This system prevents sleep mode from being canceled whenever someone walks past the machine. When the user finishes using the machine and the reflection sensor no longer detects the presence of any user, the timer for putting the machine into sleep mode is started. The reflection sensor turns off a few seconds after the user leaves the pyroelectric sensor's detection area. The pyroelectric sensor and reflection sensor thus control transitions to and from sleep mode to provide high energy-saving performance.

Fig. 4: Sensors and Detected Movements

Results of a customer usage survey conducted with ApeosPort-IV C2270 / C3370 and DocuCentre-IV C2270 / C3370 in July 2011.
Technology for controlling output devices to promptly recover from sleep mode.