Your Chromebook may soon darken and automatically lock when you step away from it

We’ve already discussed Google’s new “human presence detection” technology, and we’ve also covered how they’re starting to integrate it into Chrome OS through the camera. It’s pretty straightforward, in fact – if your Chromebook senses your presence or sees you, it can do a variety of things based on just that. If he doesn’t see you, he may take opposite action. Until recently, we just didn’t have a lot of information on what exactly those stocks would be.

Then “spy detection” appeared on Chrome Canary as a developer indicator, and with it, the ability to “detect” whether or not someone was looking over your shoulder at your device. If your camera saw another face behind you in a cafe or anywhere else, it would place an eyeball icon in your system tray to let you know you were shoulder surfing.

It doesn’t work yet, but that’s the idea at this early stage in the feature’s development. Now, a new developer flag on Chrome OS Canary called “Turn on Lock on Leave,” which was first discovered by Chrome Story, seeks to take this HPS technology a step further and automatically darken and lock. your device when it no longer detects your presence.

Activate the lock on leave

Activate the Holiday Lock feature to better darken or lock the device. Can be turned on and off from the Smart Privacy section of your device’s settings. – Chrome OS

# quick-dim

As you can see, Lock On Leave activates a feature that will automatically dim your Chromebook‘s display after a period of “inactivity.” I’m not talking about inactivity in the traditional sense of mouse and keyboard or even touchscreen input, but rather when the camera doesn’t see you for a set period of time. In the image above, a new “Smart Privacy Protections” section in the Security & Privacy area of ​​the Settings app (where spy detection is hosted) gives us more details about the new smart lock features. of the screen.

“This feature uses the front camera for detection. The data is treated securely and subsequently deleted. Google does not use your data for any other purpose.

Smart screen lock – The screen will automatically lock if you walk on and will not turn off if you are in front.

My best guess is that the display will automatically dim at these intervals before locking up shortly thereafter if your camera continues to detect your absence. Coming back to your screen and sitting in your seat, the device should “turn on” based on a commit found by Chrome Story, but there is no indication that it will be able to unlock your device if it is already went that far in the process. However, with face unlock likely becoming a thing with HPS, I’m willing to bet that everything will be fully automated by the time that goes public. Quick dimming is obviously a step towards unlocking the face, in my opinion.

The flag itself has a few settings – you can choose to dim and lock the screen for 30 seconds, 120 seconds, or snapshots. Right now these options aren’t listed in the Settings app and the feature itself doesn’t work on any of my devices, but that’s likely because human presence detection has only been tested. on ‘Zork’ and ‘Volteer’ (like Ryzen AMD devices and 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake devices) so far.

I really like that this is a feature being considered for Chromebooks. It consolidates Google’s continued commitment to making them the most innovative and forward-thinking laptops in the industry. This will likely prevent many devices from being snooped around in cafes or other public places when the user gets up for a drink or to go to the bathroom.

Honestly, I never understood leaving your Chromebook on the table and walking away, but that’s probably because I live in an area where you just don’t have that kind of trust in strangers sipping their coffee. milk near you. Still, it’s common practice, and although it accounts for a high percentage of technology stolen each year, Google’s innovations will help protect data.

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