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Philips ErgoSensor monitor keeps you on your toes

The monitor includes a built-in reminder to take a break and rest your eyes to avoid strain.

The ErgoSensor monitors your distance from and neck angle to the screen. Philips

As is the case with an increasing number of health- and fitness-related gadgetry, Philips' new monitor that aims to improve posture will be a welcome advance to some and a niggling reminder to others.

The 24-inch desktop LCD ErgoSensor monitor employs a built-in CMOS sensor that tracks the distance between one's pupils and the monitor, as well as the angle of one's neck to the screen, and alerts the user via a Webcam-like display when either measurement indicates bad posture.

Even for those who don't wish to be reminded of their tendencies to slouch, the ErgoSensor has a few cool features that don't nag. The monitor's "SmartErgoBase" can be adjusted up or down, tilted, and rotated for optimal positioning, and a time-break function reminds people when they should give their eyes a rest and step away from the screen.

While we haven't had the chance to play with the ErgoSensor yet, the monitor also comes with a power-saving feature worth mentioning: walk away and the monitor senses your absence and powers down. (Granted, it's not hard to do this using, say, hot corners, but what's not to love about automating the process?) Philips also claims that the monitor is made of 65 percent post-consumer recycled plastics.

Not yet available in the U.S., Wired reports that the monitor has hit the shelves in the E.U. at 285 euros (about $375) a pop -- a detail that in and of itself may result in at least temporarily bolting upright.