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Screen Locker (Windows+L)

Automatic screen lock based on presence
  [vote for,

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 activity.

... 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 source :-)

Why half baked? well whether it drives me up the wall at work, by locking the PC too much, is still to be seen !

RattyBunyip, Jan 26 2014


       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.
AusCan531, Jan 26 2014

       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.
JesusHChrist, Jan 26 2014

       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. "
popbottle, Jan 26 2014

       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 place.
RattyBunyip, Jan 26 2014

       Just make sure all the handles have different fittings on each Babbage engine.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 26 2014

       Your smartphone, via bluetooth, can pair with your laptop/PC.   

       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, Jan 29 2014

       @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.
RattyBunyip, Feb 05 2014

       So did it work well?
notexactly, Dec 18 2018


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