How Intel will wake up your PC when you approach or lock it down using Wi-Fi waves

Intel’s 13th generation Core “Raptor Lake” platforms incorporate Wi-Fi Proximity Sensing. This function analyzes the Wi-Fi signal in real time to detect human presence in front of the PC. And can thus lock/unlock the PC automatically without additional energy expenditure.

Intel has achieved a small feat: developing a new function without having to spend anything. Neither Watt, nor dollar, nor percentage of more chip, nor processor calculation time are required for Wi-Fi Proximity Sensing, a function that offers the double benefit of safety and energy consumption. With zero penalty therefore.

Concretely, it is a question of intelligently exploiting the wireless network card, and more particularly the signal variations, to know if the user is in front of his machine, moving away from it or approaching it again. Transmitting and receiving waves constantly, a computer’s Wi-Fi card is an active element capable of adapting to its environment. Whether it’s to vary or change channels, switch between frequencies or networks. And, therefore, soon… to know if a human is in front of the computer.

There is no calculation supplement, nor energy consumption on the PC. We have developed models which are integrated into the drivers of the wireless network card. And according to field variations, the card knows that a human has approached the machine “, explained to us the engineers of the research center of Intel in Haifa during a press trip to their premises in Israel. ” The Wi-Fi card is active even in standby, so the function does not change this very low energy consumption. “.

Depending on the Windows settings, this function will lock the PC after a certain period of time after you have left your workstation. Adding extra security, without ever risking getting in your way and without depending on a camera. This means that the function can benefit sensitive workstations: even a government machine, without a camera, can thus quickly go to sleep or come out of it when the user approaches. Intel even claims that it wakes up to 80% faster. In other words, instead of hitting keys in hopes of waking up your PC, you’ll be faced with a machine waiting for you, ready to go. Of course, you will still need to identify yourself to unlock the session.

Wi-Fi Proximity Sensing is available in the 13e generation of Core processors, both in the models desktop very soon announced, only in the mobile versions that will arrive later. This therefore promises a bright future for this technology… If it is adapted, of course. On this point, according to the Intel teams, “cIt will be up to the OEMs to activate it or not “. Each manufacturer will make the decision for the ranges of machines that it will equip with this generation of chips. Asked about a possible additional cost related to the integration of Wi-Fi Proximity SensingIntel is extremely clear: although it does require system qualification for it to work, however we do not charge OEMs anything extra. »

Manufacturers will be able to choose to rely on other technologies for unlocking, such as the webcam. But they can just as well mix the processes by detecting the arrival of the user with Wi-Fi Proximity Sensing and then switch to a Windows Hello compatible camera.

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