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Your Raptor Lake PC will wake as you walk up to it and sleep when you leave

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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.

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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.