Intel's new technology will turn on your PC as you go to sit down at your desktop, or turn it off as you walk away, using nothing but standard Wi-Fi hardware included alongside its 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors.
The technology is called Wi-Fi Proximity Sensing (or just Wi-Fi Sensing), and since I'm over at Intel's lab in Haifa, Israel, I've been able to give it a go for myself. It really is as simple as it sounds. You just walk up to the PC and it will wake from sleep to your desktop or lock screen. Then, if you walk away, it'll go back to sleep again 30 seconds after you abandon it.
I'm told the tech uses the standard Intel Wi-Fi network interface silicon included in its upcoming 13th Gen CPUs—nothing extraordinary—so should work for most machines built using that hardware. Though, from what Intel has told us in its labs, we're unlikely to see it enabled on older CPUs.
There is some extra OS-side communication required for the system to work, though Intel's driver package will take care of that. Otherwise it's solely relying on detecting changes in the Wi-Fi frequency to detect movement and wake the machine.
Perhaps if you're the owner of a cat or dog you'll not want to use this feature. Or if you're prone to extremely long breaks from your PC mid-gaming session (we all know someone like that), but it's still a neat way to use extant technology and shouldn't cost a penny. Intel reckons it'll actually help reduce power consumption, as you won't accidentally leave your PC to linger for hours on end.
Now if you're wondering when you'll be able to pick up an actual Raptor Lake CPU, Intel is playing that one closer to the chest. It's undoubtedly going to be soon, however, as the company has already begun teasing single-threaded and multi-threaded performance (opens in new tab) improvements.
Windows 11 review (opens in new tab): What we think of the new OS
How to install Windows 11 (opens in new tab): Safe and secure install
What you need to know before upgrading (opens in new tab): Things to note before downloading the latest OS
Windows 11 TPM requirements (opens in new tab): Microsoft's strict security policy explained