By DON CLARK
August 14, 2008
Intel Corp. has developed technology to remotely power up personal computers, letting users retrieve files over an Internet connection.
The technology also can be used with PC-based phone services that require computers to be on to receive calls, and can allow computers to be remotely activated to receive Internet content.
The technology, called Remote Wake, works only on forthcoming desktop computers that use a recently introduced chip set from Intel. It also requires new Intel software, which is stored on a memory chip on the circuit board of a PC.
Some companies already sell programs that allow users to remotely call up files from their home desktop machines. But those products require PCs to be turned on, which many consumers consider a waste of power, said Joe Van De Water, director of consumer marketing for Intel.
Remote Wake doesn't work with PCs that are switched completely off. Desktop PCs must be in what the industry calls "suspend" or "sleep" mode.
With Remote Wake, a consumer could use a Web-enabled cellphone or a laptop computer connected to the Internet to wake up their machine and retrieve documents, photos or other data files. Intel is working initially to enable those features with CyberLink Corp. and Orb Networks Inc.
The technology is expected to be especially useful with Internet phone calls. While many people initiate such calls using PCs and accessory headsets, receiving them tends to be a problem. If someone calls when a machine is off, recipients typically don't know it.