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Intel's new Remote Wake is an alarm clock for PCs

An incoming call will rouse a sleeping computer, enabling remote users to pull up files

August 14, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Intel Corp. today unveiled technology that enables users to remotely power up their computers and retrieve business documents and music files from afar.

The company said its Remote Wake technology will be added to select Intel motherboards. Remote Wake enables home computers to wake up from sleep mode for incoming VoIP calls, and it allows users to remotely access live TV shows, webcam feeds, photos, videos and music, according to CyberLink Corp., which plans to use Intel's new technology.

"This is an extension of a technology that's been around in the server world for several years," said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group Inc. "On servers, you have something that's called a service processor that's always awake and can do things like monitor the system, do reboots and run diagnostics. You'd have complete remote access to your home PC. You could do that now, but the computer has to be turned on all the time, and sleep mode can interfere with remote operations."

Intel noted that the technology helps make computer equipment more energy-efficient, since it still allows PCs to go into sleep mode, which saves power. "This technological collaboration enables users to reduce wasted energy while still being able to conveniently access all their files even when they're on the go," said Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink in a statement.

Jajah Inc., a maker of mobile telephony equipment, noted on its Web site that it will include Intel's Remote Wake technology in its core telephony infrastructure.

Olds said that while this is interesting technology today, it may be put to more interesting uses in the future. "This is probably a harbinger of the future," said Olds. "Think of when you can, for instance, tell your home computer to boot up, e-mail you a file at work and then turn itself off.... With this, someday you could turn [your computer] on remotely, turn it off remotely, reboot it -- anything you like. You also could schedule things to happen unattended."

He added that the "logical extension" of Intel's wake-up feature is to allow that kind of remote booting and shut down.

The technology is expected to begin to become available next week.

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