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In certain workplaces (like mine) you MUST lock your computer when you walk away. Using
methods such as screen saver keylock either take too long to activate, or get in the way when
doing other tasks such as reviewing complicated documents. Worse, it is accepted unofficial
practice at our work
to penalise the person who leaves their machine unlocked by quickly
sending a "Cakes in the kitchen tomorrow" email from their PC. This does act as an incentive to
remember to lock your machine but is not always enough.
I propose a device using a presence detector which the computer also recognises as a keyboard.
When the device notices absence then it sends GUI+L (Windows Key + L) to the computer and
normal screen lock will then occur. ++ Following postings I exclude the sub-set of presence
detectors which require the user to carry a component.
How might this be implemented? Micro switches in the seat or infrared detector or even a
camera are all ways to spot a persons absence. Creating a USB device that registers as a
keyboard to send the GUI+L is also a simple task and doesn't interfere with other keyboard
... and some time in the future I'll post an "instructible" of the prototype I knocked up last
weekend. Mine works with an IR range detector and an Arduino board act as the USB
Why half baked? well whether it drives me up the wall at work, by locking the PC too much, is
still to be seen !
||I can't find the reference but I'm pretty sure this is baked.
From memory an RFID chip is in the corporate ID card
which hangs from a lanyard around the employee's neck.
As long as they are within a meter of the computer it
remains unlocked but if the employee wanders away the PC
locks automatically. The employee returns within close
proximity and it unlocks again.
||I am glad people like you have real jobs which can inspire
you to come up with useful ideas like this. I am going to
now retire to my super pee pee po poo bowl of a life.
||Something in your (wallet purse keys shoes belt glasses) that you wear every day and that leaves when you do.
||Quote from recently seen video " Let me unlock this. I have an RFID tag embedded in my hand. "
||I agree that ID cards with responders (or that must
be physically inserted and are needed to move
around the building) are known. I must admit I had
at one point been thinking about using a
bluetooth link to my phone, that would lock when
it went out of range.
||As such I reduce the idea down to
implementations where the subject doesn't have
to actively carry.
||As I said, my home brew doesn't require the user
to be carrying a component of any sort. It is just
interested in that the person who was present is
no longer present. It assumes if you were present
you must have had authority to log in in the first
||Just make sure all the handles have different fittings on each Babbage engine.
||Your smartphone, via bluetooth, can pair with your
||You'd just need some simple software to use this for
"owner presence detection".
||Pretty good to "lock" if your phone is outside the
range of the computer.
||Not so good to "auto unlock" if you are within range.
Just don't lock.
||@sophocles: Since posting I have talked to people
who have tried the link to smartphone/ other carried
device. I was not intending to include them and by
all reports they seem to work out incredibly
frustrating because the remote component is always
in the wrong place, or lost, or doesn't lock the
screen because it has more range than expected.
Hence I limited my idea to using mechanisms
connected to the PC such as IR range detectors or
cameras to work out if the user was present.