Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200012331) for “techniques for adjusting computer device sleep states using onboard sensors and learned user behaviors.” Among other things, it would make your Mac “smart” enough to know when you approach it with your iPhone or Apple Watch in hand (or on arm, as the case may be).
Currently, while you’re wearing Apple Watch, your Mac can sense when you’re nearby, then automatically log you in. You have to be close to your desktop or laptop to make this happen. Apparently, Apple wants to extend that range. Theh patent filing also hints at ways that your Mac would wake up baed on the times you normally use it.
In the patent filing, the Apple says that most computers can transition between various different sleep states. For example, as your Mac’s sleep duration increases, it automatically can lower or switch off power to different internal components to save energy. .
The downside: this saves energy, but may result in your Mac being slow to “awaken.” Here’s Apple’s (tech speak filled) summary of the invention: “This application relates to techniques that adjust the sleep states of a computing device based on user proximity detection procedures. The technique includes detecting a first pattern, using a first subset of sensors of one or more sensors coupled to the computing device, to determine if the object is proximate to the computing device.
“Provided the first pattern is not indicative of the object being proximate to the computing device, the technique detects a second pattern, using a second subset of sensors of the one or more sensors, to determine if the object is proximate to the computing device. Furthermore, provided either the first pattern or the second pattern is indicative of the object being proximate to the computing device and provided a first portion of a computer system within the computing device is operating within a low-power sleep state, the technique causes the first portion to enter into a high-power sleep state.”