A new electronic u2018chipu2019 claimed to extend battery life in digital cameras has today been announced in the United States.

A new electronic ?chip? claimed to extend battery life in digital cameras has today been announced in the United States.

The system uses an infrared sensor to help detect when screens in portable products are not being viewed – turning them off to preserve battery life.

?The new chip can be used in digital cameras where the proximity function can sense when the user?s eye is near the viewfinder and turn off the external screen,? said a spokesman for Capella Microsystems.

?The chip also contains an ambient light sensor that extends battery life by allowing the automatic adjustment of screen brightness to match external light conditions.?

Potential applications include touch-screen products such as iPhones, mobile phones and notebook computers.

?The proximity function can also control backlit keyboards for use in dark areas such as airplane cabins,? claims the firm.

The company?s president and CEO Cheng-chung Shih added: ?In the past, proximity and ambient light sensors had never been combined in a single chip because of the cost and space required for plastic filters.?